Sunak shares gratitude for nurses but says pay hike demand is ‘unaffordable’

Mr Sunak said he wants to “find a way through this” but claimed most of the public would agree that the demand for a £10 billion settlement cannot be met. The Prime Minister said: “I have enormous respect and gratitude to our nurses as everyone does for the incredible job they do.

“And I know things are difficult right now for everyone because of what’s happening with inflation.

“And that’s why our plans that we outlined last week will get a grip of inflation and bring it down. That’s really important.

“And in the meantime, what the unions are asking for, I think, is a 19 percent pay rise. And I think most people watching will recognise that that’s obviously unaffordable, and that’s why I’m pleased that the Health Secretary is sitting down, talking to the union, and hopefully we can find a way through this.”

The RCN wants a rise five percent above retail inflation, meaning a pay hike of 19.2 percent.

Every one percent increase in salaries costs £700 million, taking the total for meeting the demand to £10 billion – 6.5 percent of the total NHS budget.

The government accepted the independent pay review body recommendations, so has given over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year, the equivalent of around four to five per cent pay rises for most nurses.

Ministers are refusing to negotiate on pay because the rate has been set independently rather than by the government, but are open to more talks on working conditions.

Details of which services will be have not yet been set out but emergency services will be exempt from the walkouts on December 15 and 20.

RCN England director Patricia Marquis apologised to patients for any disruption that strikes will cause.

She told patients “we’re doing this for you”.

“This is about nurses standing up for themselves but also, critically, for patients,” Ms Cullen added.

“We know that the public support nursing staff in general and we know they support us through this action. So we want you to come on this journey with us.

“We are sorry for any disruption that’s caused but actually, unless we do this, we don’t see any prospects of things changing any time soon.”

Health Secretary Steve Barclay insisted his door remains open to discuss with the Royal College of Nursing “ways we can improve nurses’ working lives”.

He said: “Our priority is keeping patients safe. The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to minimise disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate but inevitably strike action will have an impact on services.

“My door remains open to the RCN if they want to discuss ways we can improve nurses’ working lives.”

Dennis Reed, director of campaign group Silver Voices, said: “Older people are appalled that nurses have been driven to strike action for the first time in their history because of many years of neglect of their pay, conditions and staffing levels.

“Vacancies are at an historic high and nurses are rushed off their feet.

“Of course, nobody wants their operation postponed but “winter pressures” and staffing shortages cause postponements every day. Instead of criticising the desperate actions of the nurses the Government should recognise its responsibility for this crisis and meet the nursing unions to agree a way forward.”

Labour chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said her party would sit down for talks with the RCN but refused to say whether they would meet demands for inflation-busting pay rises.

She said: “It’s not reasonable for a politician to sit and pontificate about one percent up, one percent down, I’m not going to do that.”

Добавить комментарий

Ageing is a multifactorial process determined by a person’s genetic…
Covid vaccines are effective at staving off serious disease but…
Atherosclerosis is diagnosed when a substantial amount of patchy fat…
Rishi Sunak caves to Tory rebels after 60 backbenchers threatened house building revolt
Rishi Sunak caved to the demands of Tory backbenchers last night as he seeks to avoid a Commons showdown with…
‘Complete shambles’: Rayner insists unions NOT to blame for Christmas rail strike misery
Angela Rayner has blamed the “militant” Government for rail strikes threatening to ruin Christmas. The deputy Labour leader insisted trade…
  • 1 час, 16 минут назад 06.12.2022Politics
    Rishi Sunak caves to Tory rebels after 60 backbenchers threatened house building revolt

    Rishi Sunak caved to the demands of Tory backbenchers last night as he seeks to avoid a Commons showdown with his own MPs. The Prime Minister has ditched compulsory house-building targets for local areas after widespread discontent from Conservative parliamentarians.

    As many as 60 Tories had threatened to vote against Mr Sunak’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

    It has also been reported the Prime Minister is preparing to ditch the ban on onshore wind farms amid opposition from MPs including Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

    Mr Sunak’s desire to avoid a clash with his own party comes after his predecessor was forced to resign less than 24 hours after a row over a Commons vote descended into chaos, with pandemonium breaking loose in the voting lobby.

    Shortly after becoming Conservative leader, the Richmond MP warned his party they must “unite or die”.

    In his bid to keep the Tories together, he is set to water down local house-building targets to make them advisory rather than mandated by the Government.

    Last night Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said the changes were a “sensible compromise” with local authorities incentivised to adopt local development plans drawn up in consultation with residents.

    “When I came into this job I said we need to create neighbourhoods not dormitories, and that is what this will achieve,” he said.

    “What we will see is more homes being built in places where we need them.

    “The current planning system is dysfunctional and in need of reform.

    “We need to change it to ensure that developments have the characteristics that communities cherish.”

    The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill was meant to be voted on in Parliament last month, but was pulled by the Government after the size of the Tory uprising became clear.

    While the Government has scrapped its plans for mandatory top-down targets on house-building, ministers insist the Conservative manifesto pledge to build 300,000 new homes a year remains in place.

    Speaking to Sky News this morning, schools minister Nick Gibb said the party remained “committed” to getting more people out of the rental sector and into owning their own property.

    Asked about the 300,000 homes promise, he said: “We are committed to that. We want young people and not so young people to be able to get on the housing ladder.

    “The Conservative Party it’s in our DNA for people to have their own home, the property-owning democracy is part of what we stand for.

    “We are committed to that, it’s not a U-turn, it’s working with parliamentarians.”

    Theresa Villiers, who had been leading demands for reform to the Bill said the changes proposed by the Government would “give local communities a greater say over what is built in their neighbourhood”.

    She added: “The compromise we have secured shows that positive change can be achieved through backbench scrutiny of legislation.”

    Labour said the climbdown is “unconscionable” in a housing crisis.

  • 1 час, 16 минут назад 06.12.2022Politics
    ‘Complete shambles’: Rayner insists unions NOT to blame for Christmas rail strike misery

    Angela Rayner has blamed the “militant” Government for rail strikes threatening to ruin Christmas. The deputy Labour leader insisted trade unions want to end the ongoing dispute rather than stage walkouts.

    Ms Rayner’s comments come after the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) yesterday announced an extra strike at Christmas.

    The deputy Labour leader told BBC Breakfast: “These people who are going on strike are going to lose pay, they will lose their pay at a time when they will need it most, they are not doing it at a drop of a hat.

    “This is a militant Government that is not dealing with the issues and not resolving this strike action, and it’s frustrating.

    “The system is absolutely crumbling without the strikes. Anyone who gets on a train now in the north knows that you’re praying if you’re going to get to where you need to get to.

    “Many businesses are now losing staff because they can’t get to work.

    “It’s a complete shambles of the Government’s making and they really need to get off their hands and resolve this.

    “When I speak to the trade unions they’re very clear they do not want to go on strike, they want to resolve this dispute, it’s this Government that seems to want to ratchet it up and want to attack workers’ rights and cause this disruption.”

    But schools minister Nick Gibb urged the RMT union not to “hold the country to ransom” as they prepare to down tools over Christmas.

    He told GB News: “It’s a very disappointing decision by the RMT, they were offered a very good pay deal by the employers, 8 percent over two years, which is in line with the kind of pay deals that are taking place outside the public sector.

    “So, I think the unions really should call off this strike. It’s inconveniencing people up and down the country in the run-up to Christmas, I think it’s a very poor way of conducting negotiations.

    “We would urge the unions to talk to employers, to keep negotiating and not to hold the country to ransom, particularly in December as we get nearer to Christmas.”

    It comes as RMT union members will press ahead with two 48-hour strikes next week and are now set to walk out from 6pm on December 24 until 6am on December 27. However talks aimed at striking a deal will still proceed today.

    A new offer was made by Network Rail on Sunday but the union is urging members to reject it.

    Strikes affecting 14 train companies will go ahead next week, although talks will be held with the Rail Delivery Group on Tuesday.

    RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said it was unfortunate that the union had been “compelled to take this action due to the continuing intransigence of the employers”.

    He said: “We remain available for talks in order to resolve these issues but we will not bow to pressure from the employers and the Government to the detriment of our members.”

  • 7 часов, 17 минут назад 06.12.2022Politics
    Brits believe migrant numbers are ‘too high’ as Sunak issued dire warning

    The majority of the British public believe that the number of migrants living in the UK is too high, according to a new poll by BMG research. It may be a sign that voters don’t believe that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has a firm grip in the issue despite attempts to work with French President Emmanuel Macron to deter small boat crossings across the English Channel.

    Exclusive polling for i discovered that 63 percent of respondents believed that the number of migrants was “too high”.

    This view was reflected across the political spectrum with 84 percent of 2019 Conservative voters agreeing with the statement along with 52 of those who voted Labour and 50 percent of Liberal Democrat voters.

    Voters in Wales and the East of England tended to believe that immigration was too high compared to lower figures in London and Scotland.

    Older voters over 65 were also much more likely to believe that the number of migrants was too high compared to voters aged 18-24.

    Those who wanted to stay out of the EU rather than rejoin were also much more likely to believe that migration was too high.

    2019 Brexit Party voters also overwhelmingly backed the state, although SNP and Green Party voters were more pro-migration with 50 percent and 43 percent believing that the current level of migration was “about right”.

    Although the figures come less than two weeks after record numbers of migrants had entered the UK, the majority of the 1,571 believed that the level was too high regardless of whether they were told about this increase.

    BMG pollster Yiota Papouridou said the poll showed that the public had a “fairly entrenched view, with a large majority believing numbers to be too high.”

    She also added that many respondents didn’t feel that Brexit had helped reduce numbers of migrants.

    She said: “Despite one of the key planks of Brexit being to take back control of immigration, almost half of the public believe leaving the EU has actually had a negative impact on migration levels.

    “Strikingly, a majority also believe Labour is best suited to tackle immigration over the Conservatives.”

    It comes as Mr Sunak is set to unveil a raft of measures in an attempt to bring migration numbers down.

    Over the weekend, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said that migration would be an issue for “many years to come”, warning that the number of people coming was “unsustainable.”

    Mr Jenrick argued that those arriving in the UK from Albania should be banned from claiming asylum as they were coming from a “demonstrably safe” country.

    He also pinpointed student visas as an area “ripe for reform” as figures from the Office of National Statistics showed that the rise in migration was fuelled by from international students and their dependents.

    “We’ve got very liberal rules on students bringing their family members with them and that is something that we are interested in reviewing,” Mr Jenrick told GB News.

    He added that student visas were being used by some as a “backdoor” to bring families into the country.

  • 10 часов, 28 минут назад 06.12.2022Politics
    News The Buckshee

    Former national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday he was considering a run for president “to stop some of the things Trump has done to the party,” following the suggestion by his former boss on Saturday to allow “termination” of the Constitution.

    “I’d like to see Shermanesque statements from all the potential candidates,” Bolton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press NOW,” calling for a clear repudiation from other Republicans. “If I don’t see that, then I’m going to seriously consider getting in.”

    Over the weekend, former President Donald Trump falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen — as he’s regularly done over the past two years — and said that so-called fraud “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

    Bolton called that statement “disqualifying.”

    He didn’t give an exact timeline on when he might officially announce a campaign, but said “it might be earlier than some would think.” So far, Trump is the only major Republican candidate to have declared his candidacy for 2024.

    Bolton served in Trump’s administration, but he was ousted in 2019 after clashing with the president. In his 2020 book, Bolton asserted that Trump posed a danger to the country, leading to further conflict with the administration.

    “When you challenge the Constitution itself the way Trump has done, that is un-American,” Bolton told NBC News’ Kristen Welker.

    Bolton said he believed that “nearly 95 percent” of Republican voters agreed that the Constitution was more important than Trump, and he questioned why other potential candidates hadn’t more forcefully denounced Trump’s statement, which he made on his Truth Social platform.

    “What does a candidate have to lose by appealing to 95 percent of the base of the Republican Party?” Bolton said.

  • 11 часов, 17 минут назад 06.12.2022Politics
    Starmer’s plan to hand foreign policy to Sturgeon ‘testing water’ for Labour/SNP pact

    Senior Tories believe a Labour plan to hand Nicola Sturgeon foreign policy powers for Scotland is”testing the waters” for a Labour/ SNP pact after the next election. The proposal in a document authored by former PM Gordon Brown and backed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has drawn warnings from Foreign Secretary James Cleverly about a new political pact.

    The policy document was launched today in Leeds and includes plans to replace the House of Lords with an elected Chamber.

    But it also proposes new powers for devolved governments, including one which appears to be aimed at unpicking the Brexit settlement.

    Recommendation 16 includes removing the reservation on foreign policy to allow the Scottish government to enter into international agreements and join international bodies in its own right.

    It reads: “We therefore propose that the Scottish Government should, with the approval of the Scottish Parliament (and where appropriate the assistance of the UK government) be able to enter into agreements with international bodies, in so far as they relate to devolved matters only. Examples would include UNESCO, the Nordic Council or (if the EU were willing to agree) even the Erasmus scheme for student exchange.”

    While the document refers specifically to Scotland it could also be expanded to Wales and Northern Ireland allowing different parts of the UK to have separate foreign policies.

    The document does not mention the EU single market but with Northern Ireland staying under Brussels rule with the controversial protocol Sturgeon has been demanding a similar deal for Scotland.

    The proposal appears to be a sop to the demands by nationalists led by Ms Sturgeon for her government to be given separate foreign powers.

    She has been hankering after an opportunity for Scotland to rejoin the single market as part of the attempts to remove it from the UK.

    While Labour currently opposes single market entry, the party’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan has made similar demands to negotiate separate foreign deals with the EU in the wake of Brexit.

    Labour’s coalition partners in Wales Plaid Cymru have also suggested the Principality should be in the single market.

    But Foreign Secretary James Cleverly fears the proposal is a serious one to prepare the way for a Labour/ SNP election pact after 2023.

    While Labour currently has a large lead in the polls most observers as well as Downing Street believe the lead is “soft” and in reality Starmer will win a small majority or need SNP support to prop up a Labour government.

    A source close to the Foreign Secretary said: “Britain’s Foreign Policy is there to represent all the nations of the of the U.K.

    This idea seems the first tentative ‘’test the water” offer to try and build an SNP/Labour coalition. If that’s not enough to tempt the SNP, where might that end up? The offer of a second Independence referendum ?”

    Already, Ms Sturgeon has been trying to run a separate foreign policy and held Brexit talks with Michelle Barnier as well as taking trips to meet other countries’ foreign ministers.

    In August she went to Denmark on an official visit.

    A Whitehall source said: “I think a Labour Foreign Office would find this a massive headache if they actually did it. The Scottish Government already tries to talk to Foreign Ministers as if they are Independent country ask Scotland Office SpAds for examples if you want them.”

    For the Tories the proposals confirm fears of a “Rejoiner Alliance” which could also include the Lib Dems.

    The proposals were unveiled in Leeds by Labour but there was a focus on Scotland because the party needs to win back seats north of the Border.

    Currently the only Scottish Labour MP is Edinburgh South’s Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish Secretary. But until 2015, Labour had 41 of the 59 seats in Scotland.

    At the launch, Sir Keir promised root and branch reform.

    He said: “Anyone can see what is happening in the UK today. We have an unbalanced economy.

    “One which makes too little use of the talents of too few people in too few places. And which the Tories have dragged into a vicious cycle of low growth and high taxes.

    “Faced with this narrow path of stagnation, is it any surprise that people up and down the country are crying out for a new approach?”

    Sir Keir claimed that Labour will “reignite our economy”, adding: “If Labour wins the next election – Britain will see a change not just in who governs, but how we are governed.”

  • 14 часов, 28 минут назад 05.12.2022Politics
    News The Buckshee

    Former President Donald Trump on Monday denied he wanted to “‘terminate’ the Constitution,” two days after suggesting “the termination of all rules … even those found in the Constitution.”

    The post seemed to be a complete denial of his post from Saturday, which remained online as of Monday afternoon: “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote over the weekend, once again falsely asserting that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

    Several of Trump’s fellow Republicans were critical of the post, but few condemned Trump himself or said it would be disqualifying for him to earn their vote — a lack of repudiation that has drawn criticism from Democrats. The post came less than a month after Trump officially declared his plans to run for president again in 2024, and he remains the only major Republican candidate to announce a campaign.

    Trump, who was impeached twice and regularly denies his loss in the last presidential election, perpetuated the untrue claim in both Truth Social posts that 2020 election was stolen.

  • Загрузить еще
More voters trust Republicans on economy as interest in midterms hits high, polls say
Voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on top issues including the economy, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted less…
Soaring tax revenue, spending plunge spark record drop in budget deficit
The U.S. government posted a record decline in federal deficits in fiscal 2022, as surging tax revenue and waning pandemic…

Politics Sunak shares gratitude for nurses but says pay hike demand is 'unaffordable'