“We will want to see our fantastic frontline workers paid properly. That is, I think, the best way forward. I want to see our NHS staff paid properly, our NHS supported.”

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister’s Questions

May 20, 2021

Facts

At PMQs, Johnson told MPs: “We will want to see our fantastic frontline workers paid properly. That is, I think, the best way forward. I want to see our NHS staff paid properly, our NHS supported.”

In the March Budget, Rishi Sunak had announced a 1% pay rise for NHS workers. This works out as only an extra £3.50 per week take-home pay for an experienced nurse.

The government later improved its offer from 1 to 3 per cent in July of 2021.

The Office for National Statistics published a report in December 2021 saying "The Consumer Prices Index [the main measure of inflation] rose by 5.1% in the 12 months to November 2021". The sharp increase in inflation means a 3% pay rise would work out as a pay cut in real terms.

Verdict

Johnson’s promise to pay frontline workers properly was, as so often with the Prime Minister,  not supported by his actions.

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