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Lib Dems pledge to guarantee 'cost of living' NHS pay rises


The Liberal Democrats have said they will ensure NHS workers are guaranteed future pay rises by at least the rate of inflation if they continue in government after the general election.

Party leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said it was “time to end the era of pay restraint,” promising to guarantee all public sector workers pay rises that “keep pace with the cost of living” every year.

“The Liberal Democrats believe it is time to end the era of pay restraint”

Nick Clegg

He said he would ensure this happened from next year, by issuing guidance to public sector pay review bodies to improve pay at least in line with inflation in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

This would mean an expected minimum pay rise of £350 for a nurse earning £25,000 over the next two years.

In the years following, Mr Clegg said his party would ensure the pay review bodies went further by recommending increases in public sector wages that are above the rate of inflation.

Mr Clegg said: “Workers across the public sector have made enough sacrifices. You have done your bit to help get the country back on track.

“For two years pay in the public sector will, at the very least, keep pace with prices”

Nick Clegg

“That’s why the Liberal Democrats believe it is time to end the era of pay restraint,” he said.

He added: “For two years pay in the public sector will, at the very least, keep pace with prices. After that, we will make sure it rises above inflation – giving millions of workers a real terms pay rise for the first time in years.”

Responding to the announcement, Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Nurses will be pleased to see their urgent need for an above-inflation pay rise highlighted by politicians.”

At a debate on health yesterday, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the Conservatives could not, at present, guarantee a commitment to NHS pay increases at least in line with the rate of inflation.

Meanwhile, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, speaking on behalf of Labour, said he agreed to it “as a principle”.


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Readers' comments (7)

  • is this the same man who said no increase in fees for students!!!!!

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  • Pussy

    Same old lies! I'm praying for the demise of Clegg and I think I may be in with a chance.

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  • Of course, Clegg's proven himself a man of his word. He's not going to buy my vote......

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  • This has just swung my vote....... I would happily vote for any of the parties that are going to gaurentee this. You may think that this is short sighted but when it comes down to it most of the policies, debating and decisions are completely out of anyones contro,l all be it the polititians. They will push through what they have been told to from big companies and business leaders and world polititians regardless of you or me.

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  • These politician will promise the earth to win votes. Why has he only come out in support now? Mmm could it have to do with what's happening in 2 weeks time on the 7th May. Clegg was in government when our paltry 1% rise last year was denied, don't recall hearing him spouting his support then.

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  • Making a guarantee like that to an organisation the size of the NHS means a huge increase in public spending which when allied to tax cuts will mean increased borrowing.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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  • yeah, just seen some flying pigs too, it is a lie

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