Analysis

Nursing staff fighting to balance the cost of living

Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of a public sector pay cap until 2020 will have left nurses worried about how to make their salaries stretch even further than they do already.

Mr Osborne wants public sector pay rises to be limited to 1% maximum from 2016.

Presenting his first budget of this parliament, the chancellor said there is a ‘simple trade-off’ between pay and jobs in many public services.

He added that alongside efficiency savings, there would be an extra £10 billion spent on the NHS by 2020.

But nurses have endured pay freezes in three of the past five annual pay rounds. Those earning up to £56,504 secured a 1% rise in 2015/16 after taking industrial action last year.

The government’s salary-cap edict comes despite increases in many cost of living indicators, such as childcare costs, which have risen by almost a third in the past five years, and a hike in NMC registration fees from £76 to £120 in two years.

The RCN estimates a nurse at the top of band 5 would earn

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