Jeremy Hunt confronted over why nurses are using food banks in live TV interview

'But is that enough considering the brilliant work they do? I think many people would say that we want to pay them more'

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Jeremy Hunt has said nurses are paid more than the national average when asked why some are using food banks.

The Health Secretary was asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show about Theresa May's stumbling answer that there are "many complex reasons" why nurses are using food banks.

Mr Hunt went on to ask whether nurses are paid enough, adding that the NHS budget may be affected by the Government's Brexit negotiations.

Asked by Andrew Marr whether there were "complex reasons" nurses have to go to food banks, Mr Hunt said: "Well let's look at the facts.

"The minimum a nurse can be paid in this country is £22,000, £27,000 in inner London. That assumes they do no night shifts or antisocial hours, which in practice most of them will.

"The average pay for nurses is £31,000, which is more than the national average."

Mr Marr interrupted to say nurses' average pay was down by 11 per cent in real terms.

Mr Hunt replied: "Well we don't agree with those numbers, but still they're getting paid more than the national average.

"But is that enough considering the brilliant work they do? I think many people would say that we want to pay them more. And I think they do an incredible job."

"So if you want more money to go into the NHS, and this Government recognises we will need to put more money into the NHS and social care system because of the pressures we face, then the question is how you get there."

He went on to talk about the Government's Brexit negotiations, saying: "If we don't get a good Brexit outcome, and we don't protect the economic recovery, the jobs that so many people depend on whose taxes pay for the NHS... that will be a disaster for the NHS."

It comes after a report revealed the number of people using food banks in the UK over the last year had risen to a record high.

Comments