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Chancellor’s spending review denies nurses early pay rise

RCN general secretary says Rishi Sunak has failed key workers he applauded earlier this year

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair says chancellor Rishi Sunak has failed key workers he applauded earlier this year by not giving nurses an early pay rise

Nurses have been denied an early pay rise as part of the UK governments spending review.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak detailed the spending plan in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Mr Sunak told MPs: Taking account of the NHS Pay Review Bodys advice, we will provide a pay rise to over 1 million nurses, doctors and others working in the NHS.

How significant

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair says chancellor Rishi Sunak has failed key workers he applauded earlier this year by not giving nurses an early pay rise

Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak detailed the government’s spending review in parliament.
Picture: Parliament TV

Nurses have been denied an early pay rise as part of the UK government’s spending review.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak detailed the spending plan in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Mr Sunak told MPs: ‘Taking account of the NHS Pay Review Body’s advice, we will provide a pay rise to over 1 million nurses, doctors and others working in the NHS.’

How significant this pay rise will be is yet to be decided, with the NHS Pay Review Body, the organisation which advises the government on pay for Agenda for Change staff employed in the NHS, due to present its recommendations in the spring of 2021.

Pay rise could have boosted an exhausted nursing profession

The spending review documents released following Mr Sunak’s speech suggests nurses should not get their hopes up too much.

‘In setting the level for these rises the government will need to take into account the challenging fiscal and economic context,’ the document reads.

The lack of an early pay rise for nurses will come as a blow to those who have argued the profession, exhausted from the first wave and heading into a difficult winter, needed a morale boost.

The RCN was one of the groups campaigning for an early pay award, and called for a 12.5% pay rise for all NHS nursing staff in the UK.

RCN general secretary Donna Kinnair
Donna Kinnair
Picture: Justine Desmond

This afternoon the college’s general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said Mr Sunak has failed the key workers he applauded earlier this year.

Next year’s pay increase must make up for chancellor’s failure, says RCN

‘The chancellor was one of millions on doorsteps to clap carers this year,’ she said.

‘Unlike others, he had the power to turn warm words into deeds – but today, he has failed to act.’

Professor Kinnair argued that next year’s pay increase must make up for this failure.

‘The level of pay rise that government agrees must reflect the true skills and value of nursing,’ she said.

‘For now, they continue to be worse off than ten years ago,’ she said.

In response to the lack of pay increase this year, the RCN has launched a petition calling on the prime minister to tackle nursing vacancies by paying staff fairly for their essential work.


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