Three in four people support pay boost for nurses, survey shows

A poll for the GMB union shows the majority of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters back above-inflation pay rises for the public sector.

Three in four people in the UK want nurses and other public sector workers get a pay rise, a survey has revealed.

A poll of 1,019 UK adults revealed only 17% did not support an above-inflation
pay rise for nurses. Picture: iStock

A survey conducted for the GMB trade union, ahead of the announcement of today's budget, found an average 75% of voters for all three major political parties backed above-inflation public sector pay rises. 

The government has previously committed to capping pay increases for the sector at 1% a year until 2020 and chancellor Philip Hammond made no mention of public sector pay in Wednesday's budget.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said last year that pay restraint was a 'crucial' part of government plans to control public finances.

Too far 

The RCN argues that the 1% cap is putting patient care at risk and says nurses have endured a 14% real-terms fall in their pay since 2010. 

The GMB poll showed that:

  • 69% of people intending to vote Conservative at the next general election are supportive of an above-inflation public sector pay rise.
  • 85% of Labour supporters, 79% of Liberal Democrat supporters and 74% of UKIP supporters agreed.
  • Only 17% of adults are not supportive of an above-inflation pay rise.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of people believe cuts to public services have gone too far in recent years.

GMB national secretary Rehana Azam said: 'It's high time for public sector workers to be paid their dues. The public sector pay pinch must end.'

Research company Survation polled 1,019 UK adults online on 2-3 March.

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