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  • a row is erupting after the government suggested a 1% pay rise for most NHS workers in England.

  • The proposal was submitted to the pay review body for the health service.

  • Unions have warned ministers that they face a backlash if they go ahead with the idea, with one saying it's the worst kind of insult The government could give health workers after the past year fighting the pandemic.

  • A 1% pay rise would be below the rate of inflation forecast in the budget for next year, our deputy political editor, Vicky Young, reports.

  • Staff in the NHS are used to pressure, but for the last year they've been working flat out under the toughest of circumstances nurses, porters, paramedics, just some of those on the front line of a global pandemic.

  • Their current pay deal is coming to an end, and today the government recommended a 1% pay rise.

  • There's been a furious reaction.

  • I'm just disgusted, so nobody wants something extra in their pay packet for Covid.

  • Nobody wants that.

  • We just want something that reflects the work that we do.

  • We want a fair wage and I don't think the government understand at all what the nest and weapons does when the government says, Look, the economy has taken a massive hit and basically there isn't any money.

  • What do you say to that?

  • I understand it's a very difficult year for the whole world.

  • Absolutely.

  • I agree with that, but I think this is a political decision.

  • Health Department officials say the Covid pandemic has placed a huge strain on finances, and tonight the business secretary highlighted the difficulties facing all parts of the economy.

  • No one is doubting that has been absolutely first class in this whole pandemic.

  • What I am suggesting is that the whole economy has been under huge pressure.

  • When I look to people in the hospitality sector in aviation, in retail, uh, many of them are very, very worried that they won't even be in a job in two or three months tonight.

  • In a statement, the government said pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused this year due to the challenging economic environment, but we will continue to provide pay rises for workers.

  • Officials also say that over a million staff continued to benefit from multi year deals agreed with the unions it's meant rises of more than 12% for newly qualified nurses.

  • But Labour say that's no consolation.

  • It's an absolute kick in the teeth for our NHS staff.

  • They've been working so hard in this crisis putting their lives on the line.

  • Many of them have died and very soon actor offer them what could turn out to be a a cut.

  • It's an absolute disgrace.

  • Unions have contrasted the chancellor's response with Scotland and Wales, where health and social care workers received bonuses last year.

  • They say clapping for the NHS isn't enough.

  • All this for the government really couldn't be worse after the year that NHS workers have had many of them had all their leave cancelled morale pretty low.

  • It's no wonder, really.

  • The unions have reacted as they have tonight, some of them calling it an absolute insult.

  • Now the government's talking about having to have fair and affordable pay rises.

  • They say that the economy has taken a hit.

  • Many other public sector workers are having no pay rise at all.

  • Now this is a recommendation.

  • It goes to an independent pay review body.

  • They will report back in May, and ministers will then make a final decision.

  • But I think it is a real sign of the competing pressures that the chancellor has to deal with.

  • Everyone having a claim and wanting pay going their way.

  • Thank you.

  • So just 24 hours after the budget, pressure is already mounting on the government to spend more and pay more in certain parts of the public sector.

  • Labor is accusing the chancellor of hiding a funding cut for NHS running costs like wages and medicines.

  • One independent expert has warned that more needs to be done to address the huge pressure on public services once the pandemic is over.

  • Our economics editor Faisal Islam, has been picking through the small print for months.

  • The chancellor has been happy to sign off billions in rescue funds, autographing his spending plans on social media videos.

  • But real public sector pay freezes and bumper tax rises are a far more difficult sell on the latter.

  • At least, he says, who's willing to assume the same personal responsibility.

  • I want to be upfront with people about the challenges.

  • The shock that coronavirus has done to our economy has been significant and as I as I said yesterday, I say again today, you know this won't be fixed overnight.

  • It will.

  • It will be the work of many years, decades and governments to fully pay all that money back.

  • But yesterday's was the biggest tax raising budget in over a quarter of a century, eclipsing George Osborne's austerity V A T rise and the two highest Gordon Brown tax razors, including a hefty national insurance hike.

  • Just a little smaller, though, than Norman Lamont's crisis budget of 1993.

  • So big tax rises and possibly more to come.

  • And even then, lots of gaps if he really is to slash borrowing, he may well have to increase taxes further because the spending cuts that he's penciled in really don't look terribly plausible.

  • He wants to spend less going forward that he was planning pre pandemic.

  • One important example may come more quickly, even after the extension of a £20 increase in weekly universal credit until October, recipients such as Esther did Roy say they will have to be extended again.

  • It's been mentally very draining, and there have definitely been times where I've gone through quite severe burnout, just trying to deal with it all, and the opposition honed in on £30 billion.

  • Lower overall health spending implied in the budget from next year, the result of less one off pandemic funding.

  • I think a lot of people be pretty astonished to know that the day to day funding for the NHS is being cut in yesterday's budget.

  • Hidden in that budget was that cut.

  • I'm here at the Royal Derby Hospital.

  • They're still struggling with covid.

  • Cases were not through the pandemic yet.

  • And of course, what's coming next is the backlog of cases.

  • 4.5 million people on waiting lists while core NHS spending is up and there is a further year of significance but lower pandemic health spending.

  • Other experts did point to nothing in the budget to deal with ongoing post pandemic pressures for example, massive NHS waiting lists from next year.

  • Much of that will be dealt with in the autumn spending review.

  • The big picture, though, is that the chancellor did not tie his hands over the nation's debt.

  • If push comes to shove, borrowing could still take the strain in the future.

  • Visiting the teas with the PM both Downing Street residents stressing the recovery reaching addresses across the nation, including this newly designated Freeport.

  • The arguments over tax spending borrowing far from over Faisal Islam, BBC News.

a row is erupting after the government suggested a 1% pay rise for most NHS workers in England.

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1% NHS pay offer during pandemic is “worst kind of insult” say unions - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/05
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