Salary offer for NHS staff ‘not inflationary’, says Chancellor


The wage offer to NHS workers is not inflationary, said Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt said he was “confident” the offer would not worsen inflation after health unions on Thursday suspended further strikes by ambulances and other NHS workers and said they would recommend the new salary proposal be accepted.

The Chancellor, fresh from the presentation of his budget on Wednesday, also indicated that he would like to see the offer as a basis for a deal with other striking public sector workers.

“What we’ve been doing all along is trying to be reasonable. We had an independent trial last year. But we also recognize that there has been a lot of pressure on the cost of living, which is why this year and last year we gave around £3,000 to every family across the country,” he told LBC’s Tonight With Andrew Marr.

“But yes, we did look again at making an unconsolidated payment, a one-time payment if you will, on last year’s premiums to acknowledge this pressure on the cost of living.

“I think that was the right thing to do in this situation. But the one thing that has always been our red line in all of these negotiations was that we would not agree to a price that would anchor high inflation so we are here again next year.”

When asked if he thought the offer was inflationary, he said: “I don’t, no. I am confident that the award we have given will continue to allow inflation to follow its downward trend.”

It is expected that there will be further talks between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Treasury on how the offer will be funded, with union members voting on whether to accept the deal.

Mr Hunt said it had been a “difficult dispute” but the government wanted to resolve disputes with other unions “appropriately”.

“The government’s attitude towards all these groups of workers is the same, we want to get together and regulate them sensibly, but in a way that does not endanger the country’s economic recovery. And I hope that today will be the beginning of that change,” said Hunt. Salary offer for NHS staff ‘not inflationary’, says Chancellor

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