Matt Hancock doubles down on NHS wages, insists 1% offer is a pay rise

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But the secretary of state appears to have gotten his sums wrong as forecasts for inflation in 2021-22, the year the pay rise will come into effect for more than a million NHS staff, says inflation could be 1.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

His comments are likely to enflame the row over the government’s handling of NHS pay with health unions already preparing the ground for possible industrial action.

Health committee chairman Jeremy Hunt asked Mr Hancock how the Department of Health and Social Care had calculated the 1 per cent pay offer and whether he considered it a real terms pay rise in terms of inflation.

The Tory minister said: “Well, nflation is below 1 per cent, and therefore a proposed 1 per cent pay rise is indeed a pay rise, and that’s simply a matter of fact.”

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