Suffolk MP expects government to increase 1% NHS pay rise offer
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Suffolk MP and former heath minister Dr Dan Poulter is confident that the government will end up giving NHS workers more than the 1% pay rise that has prompted a cross-party outcry since it was announced after the budget.
The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, who works part-time in a London hospital, said he was sure the independent review into health service pay would recommend a higher figure that the government would agree to.
He said: "There has been a strong reaction against the 1% proposal - and while I know government finances are very difficult at the moment I don't think this proposal will go ahead.
"After all NHS staff have been through over the last year with people being put at risk because of the problems with protective equipment during the first wave, I think that more should be offered.
"From an economic point of view, there needs to be a reasonable enough deal to retain staff - otherwise you end up with too few NHS employees and you have to rely on agency staff which is much more expensive.
"I am quite confident the review body will take this into account and come up with a higher figure that the government will accept."
Dr Poulter, who was junior health minister during the coalition administration, said he felt the government offer of 1% was the opening bid of a negotiation with the health unions before a deal was agreed.
Clacton MP Giles Watling was also confident that NHS staff would get a higher raise than 1% "because it's the right thing to do."
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He said: "I think it will be increased. Last year health staff were told they would not lose out and I think the review board will tell the government to honour this."
Waveney MP Peter Aldous did not know what the review body into NHS salaries would say - but was confident that the government would go along whatever it offered staff.
He said: "That is the reason we have an independent pay review body looking at staff salaries. It will take everything into account and I am confident the government will accept whatever it says."