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Nadine Dorries defends 1% pay rise for NHS staff

Minister for Mental Health Nadine Dorries defended the government's 1% pay rise for NHS staff on Good Morning Britain today.

The government's recommended 1% pay rise on the back of Chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget has faced criticism from the unions.

Ms Dorries told GMB that saving private sector jobs was a priority for the government and she hoped NHS staff 'would understand that'.

She also said that no other public sector jobs would be receiving pay rises and the government

"I hope that nurses would feel and understand that we have to prioritise saving people's jobs and saving people's livelihoods," said Ms Dorries. "Hopefully we are coming out of the tail end of this pandemic and our priority now has to be about protecting people's livelihood and keeping people in work.

"Without a strong economy, without people in work, without the business grants, without protecting employers there will be no funding for the NHS.

"The past year was about saving lives, the next year has to be about saving the economy."

Kate Garraway challenged Ms Dorries that for nurses the pay rise will feel like a 1% reward for 110% effort.

The Minister responded: "Clapping for carers and appreciating our nurses and staff, all of that is genuinely felt and genuinely meant. We absolutely do value and appreciate everyone of our healthcare workers.

"No other public sector worker has received a pay rise, their pay has been frozen. Many people in the private sector have lost their jobs or are on reduced salaries and their economic future is uncertain.

"It was important to us NHS staff received a pay rise."

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