Theresa May is lying on NHS pay – the Tories have slashed health workers’ wages

Labour has pledged to scrap the pay cap


We know that the Tories have a laid back attitude to statistical accuracy, but Theresa May’s claims on NHS pay at PMQs today were particularly egregious.

Asked by Jeremy Corbyn about the one per cent cap on NHS pay — which has seen wages fall far behind inflation — May flatly refused to accept that NHS staff were losing income.

“I see today he is talking about paying for wage increases in the NHS. For people working in the NHS around half of those staff because of progression and basic pay increases will see on average an increase of four per cent.

You see what she did there? She took those people who earn more because they have developed their skills, built experience, gotten promotions or taken on tougher jobs, and suggested that they have been given a pay rise by her government.

The reality is that like-for-like work in the NHS has become consistently less rewarding under this government. Unfair pay restrictions, which only allow pay increases of one per cent or less regardless of inflation levels, have meant that the real-terms income of NHS staff has plummeted.

The TUC has calculated that midwives, nurses and ambulance drivers are facing real pay cuts of 9.3 per cent by 2020/21 and UNISON has warned that staff are already leaving the NHS because of the financial pressures they face/

Occupation Pay in 2015/16 Pay in 2020/21 at RPI in 2016 prices Real pay cut in 2016 prices Real pay cut in 2016 prices
Midwife £35,255 £31,937 -£3,288 9.3%
Nurse £28,462 £25,806 -£2,656 9.3%
Ambulance driver £19,655 £17,821 -£1,834 9.3%


Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth has pledged to abandon the pay cap and give NHS workers a fair deal. Any party that claims to care about the NHS should do the same.

See: Hardworking staff keep our NHS going – they don’t deserve a pay cut

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