1 per cent NHS pay rise is ‘deeply insulting’ says Sir Keir Starmer after Crawley Hospital visit

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has condemned a proposed one per cent NHS pay rise as ‘deeply insulting’.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 4:47 pm

The Labour leader made the comments after visiting Crawley Hospital yesterday, March 11, where he praised workers for their ‘upbeat spirit’.

Sir Keir, the Member of Parliament for Holborn and St Pancras, said: “I was there struck by the fact lots of people across the South East and Crawley have come together. Volunteers in there to help deliver the vaccine.

“There was a real upbeat spirit in there which I think is what’s going to get us through.”

Keir Starmer visited Crawley Hospital. Photo: Labour Party

But he criticised the one per cent pay rise proposed by the Government as not enough and ‘an insult’.

The former director of public prosecutions added: “It’s a pay cut. If inflation is due to run at 1.7 per cent you’re giving them a pay cut. It’s deeply insulting.

“They have been under unimaginable pressure. The Prime Minister clapped our carers and now he is slamming the door on them.”

Sir Keir said NHS staff have continued to offer home visits and now face a huge backlog ‘through no fault of their own’.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, visited Crawley yesterday. He is pictured with council leader Peter Lamb. Photo: Labour Party

A Government spokesman said: “Over one million NHS staff continue to benefit from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, which have delivered a pay rise of over 12 per cent for newly qualified nurses and will increase junior doctors’ pay scales by 8.2 per cent.”

Pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused this year due to the challenging economic environment, he added.

The spokesman said: “We will continue to provide pay rises for NHS workers, on top of a £513 million investment in professional development and increased recruitment. That’s with record numbers of doctors and 10,500 more nurses working in our NHS compared to last year, and with 2021 nursing university applications up by over a third.

“We have asked the independent pay review bodies to report in late spring and we will consider their recommendations carefully when we receive them.”

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, visited Crawley yesterday. He is pictured with council leader Peter Lamb. Photo: Labour Party