I hope government does a U-turn over the derisory pay rise for NHS staff, it cannot come soon enough

Please send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk

Sunday 07 March 2021 19:21
Boris Johnson defends controversial 1% pay rise for NHS nurses

I have been a nurse for more than 30 years. I would be happy with a 1 per cent pay rise. But I am an agency nurse. NHS staff have worked valiantly to help all of us over the past, very difficult year, and the proposal of a 1 per cent pay rise is derisory.

I’ve worked as Covid-support in ICUs. My appreciation of the work of ICU nurses could not be higher, and it’s a disgrace that those who have most directly helped all of us – not least the prime minister – are being treated this way.

I look forward to being pleasantly surprised by a U-turn soon.

Digby Stalman

West Yorkshire                                       

I can almost see it now. The row about the pay rise for NHS staff will go on for a few weeks, back and forth between the two sides, getting more and more antagonistic, dividing the nation, setting us against each other. And all the while, Matt Hancock will be there with his deceitful half-smile.

Just when it seems to be getting really nasty, who pokes his head above the parapet, but the saviour Boris Johnson? And he will say how, in the time of this pandemic, it is not good for morale to have all this unrest, and having discussed it with the Treasury and the Cabinet, he has overruled the 1 per cent pay rise and decided to abide by the agreed pay rise.

All of a sudden he becomes the nation’s hero, scoring rating points, and the country will think he’s wonderful.

If it happens, don’t be conned, nothing will have changed – and for goodness sake, don’t suggest a “Clap for Boris” night.

D R Higgins


Everybody is back to work by June and yet furlough is still being paid until September.

Stop furlough as of 31 May 2021 and redeploy that money to give as the 2.1 per cent or better promised to NHS Staff.

Paul Waldeck

Address supplied

The anger at the 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff is not surprising. The government will no doubt bend to the wishes of the people and offer a larger pay rise, something that will be derided as a U-turn but is actually rather refreshing.

However, in all the thousands of words written on the topic, the rationale behind the government’s decision – namely, the need to pay back the debt and reduce the deficit – is not questioned.

The question to whom exactly is the nation indebted is never raised. Who are these people, these banks and other financial institutions, which seem to have access to limitless amounts of money to “lend” this or that government?

The UK national debt has surpassed the £1 trillion mark and is increasing at a rate of £5000 a second. At the end of 2020, the world’s debt exceeded £200 trillion. Where does this money come from? Is it sitting in a vault somewhere? Or could it be that this money is created on demand in the same way as a central bank creates money, a process known as quantitative easing?

It is a well-known fact that every time a private bank provides a loan and the borrower’s account is credited with the value of the loan, money is created as if out of thin air: private quantitative easing.

Fawzi Ibrahim

London NW2

A Budget for the wealthy

When considering the impact of the recent Budget on different socio-economic groups, I was a little surprised that the greatest burden of paying down the cost of the Covid pandemic appears to fall mainly on big businesses and ordinary citizens. There appears to be very little impact on the high earners and the already wealthy.

When I thought about this, it struck me that the government was honouring an earlier commitment not to increase general taxation. Thus the only tool they could use to raise additional funds from the general populous was to freeze income tax personal allowances for five years.

However, if the government is so keen to keep to their promises, what is their justification for breaking their promise of a 2.5 per cent pay increase for NHS staff, which they made back in June 2019?

The government has justified its decision on the basis that this is all the nation can afford, but this is obviously not correct. If they can justify breaking one promise, they can justify breaking another promise, and raise taxes, and reduce tax allowances for the wealthiest in our society to help balance the books.

It is clear to me that the reason why the government does not wish to use such an argument is because it cares more about the opinions of the wealthy than it does about our collective responsibility to our NHS staff.

David Curran

Feltham, Middlesex

Raise your hand if you know the answer

Gavin Williamson now wants to “transform” our education system. I have four words for him: talk to the teachers.

Lynda Newbery


Driven to despair

During this harrowing time created by the coronavirus, an essential commodity in your daily living is a sense of humour.

Yesterday, I was informed that, in 16 weeks, my car will require an MOT. However, over the past 12 months I have hardly moved the car, which has been parked in the street fully taxed, with an MOT and insurance.

Is there anywhere I may claim for the car expenses caused by the virus?

Colin Bowe


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