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