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Public agree government should scrap the cap, survey shows

Around eight in ten members of the public support calls to remove the pay cap and give NHS staff an above-inflation pay rise

More than eight in ten members of the public support removing the Governments controversial cap on the pay of NHS staff, research shows.

A survey of more than 2,000 people conducted for 14 health unions, including the RCN, found that 84% backed ending the pay cap policy.

Pay rise

A similar number said NHS staff should receive a pay rise to meet or exceed retail price index (RPI) inflation, currently 3.9%.

Health unions have written to the government calling for a 3.9% pay rise and an additional 800 to restore some of the pay lost by NHS staff over the past seven years.

Other findings from the poll include:

  • 69% of those surveyed support NHS staff being paid an additional 800 on top of a pay increase in line

More than eight in ten members of the public support removing the Government’s controversial cap on the pay of NHS staff, research shows.

A survey of more than 2,000 people conducted for 14 health unions, including the RCN, found that 84% backed ending the pay cap policy.

Pay rise

A similar number said NHS staff should receive a pay rise to meet or exceed retail price index (RPI) inflation, currently 3.9%.

Health unions have written to the government calling for a 3.9% pay rise and an additional £800 to restore some of the pay lost by NHS staff over the past seven years.

Other findings from the poll include:

  • 69% of those surveyed support NHS staff being paid an additional £800 on top of a pay increase in line with RPI inflation.
  • 77% think that low pay is one of the reasons for many staff leaving the NHS.
  • 74% think that low pay is also a factor in young people not choosing careers in the NHS.

Out of touch

RCN director of member relations Chris Cox said: ‘This makes it clear how much ministers are out of touch with public opinion, which supports our campaign.

‘They should listen to what the public are telling them, scrap the pay cap and help to recruit thousands more nurses for a safer NHS. Experienced nursing staff are leaving in droves – not because they don’t like the job, but because they can’t afford to stay, while the next generation do not see their future in an under-valued profession.’

A government spokesperson said discussions with pay review bodies about next year’s pay award will take place over the next few months.

‘NHS staff do a fantastic job in delivering world-class care. We want to recognise their hard work and make sure that the overall pay package is fair and also affordable to hard-working taxpayers,’ the spokesperson said.


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