Nurses work in exceptionally difficult circumstances and should be rewarded accordingly

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Tuesday 09 March 2021 17:41
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Proposed 1% NHS pay rise is a 'kick in the teeth,' says Shadow Health Secretary

In his letter (‘NHS pay’, 8 February), T Sayer made three outrageous statements on the issue of nurses’ pay.

It rather misses the point to claim that because he, presumably working in the private sector, is not getting a pay rise and is stressed like all of us by Covid, no one deserves one. I’m sure he doesn’t put his life on the line every day when he goes to work, nor suffers the mental anguish of dealing with the lives and deaths of others, as nurses do. That we survived the last year is down to them, so a pay rise and bonus is due.

He asks, “what happened to duty and vocation?”, and I say to him: go and spend the day on an ICU ward, or talk to a nurse, and he’ll find it.

He says the “public sector thinks money grows on trees”. I ask him why we were scrabbling around from March to May, trying to get enough protective kit for an NHS starved of basic funding for the previous 10 years of “austerity”, a situation that cost hundreds of lives? And why suddenly in mid 2020, we can find billions of pounds for a useless private sector-run track and trace system, as well as the misguided Eat Out to Help Out scheme?

John Daintith

Bristol

T Sayer says that nurses do not deserve a pay rise as, like them, he has not had a pay rise this year and also works under stress. What has happened to a sense of duty and vocation, he asks.

Am I alone in finding my blood boils when people who do not put their lives at risk in their jobs exhort others to do so and to not be appropriately rewarded?

Alan Pack

Kent

A right royal mess

I didn’t watch the Harry and Meghan interview but I have read articles on what was discussed.

Meghan mentioned that the couple only had Harry’s inheritance money, which was left to him by his mother, Princess Diana. This inheritance made Harry a very wealthy man, so forgive the population for not feeling too sorry for them regarding their finances.

The money allocated to them from British taxpayers ceased when they stepped back from royal duties. The British taxpayer doesn’t pay money to people just for “being royal”, or to fund their lifestyle when living abroad.

Harry and Meghan did need to have their say, but the timing is bad, as the whole world is in the middle of a pandemic, with thousands of people dying every day.

So I’m afraid their interview does come across as being rather egocentric and makes one wonder if they are aware of what is going on outside of their bubble.

Janine Hyatt

Address supplied

It may well be that somebody in the royal household came out with the racist utterance. Given the rarefied environment, I fail to see why this should be seized upon as proof that the whole family is prejudiced, let alone wider British society.

I do not deny racism in the UK, but I would rather that conclusions were based on reasonable evidence. And I speak not as a monarchist but as somebody perturbed by the sentimentalism, complaints culture and political polarisation within our society.

Cole Davis

Norwich

During this unedifying washing of royal dirty linen, I have noted that not one single word has been spoken about the British public who fund the lot of them.

What mugs the public are to fund this hubristic nonsense. Harry moans about the cutting off of security protection by his family – excuse me, that’s paid for by the British public.

I am not on either side of their family argument, I think they’re all egotistical, harsh and self-serving. Banish them to obscurity. I beg the press to ignore them, let’s see how they like that.

Penny Little

Oxfordshire

Vaccine hoarding

It is easy to have a jibe at the Italian government for its call to restrict the export of vaccines when a manufacturer has not yet delivered the number of doses agreed in the contract with the host country.

I suspect Italy has looked at the UK as a model. At the time of the dispute between AstraZeneca and the EU, it transpired that AstraZeneca was contractually obliged to supply the whole of the UK production just to the UK.

Part of the problem is the secrecy about the vaccine contracts. Thus, the terms and conditions, or the prices paid by each country, are not officially known. A report in the British Medical Journal has shown that the EU negotiated lower prices for the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. This has fuelled the suspicion, which may or may not be correct, that manufacturers sometimes prioritise the more lucrative contracts.

The British Medical Journal has called for the UK to share its vaccine supply even before it has completed the vaccination of its own population. To the best of my knowledge there have been, so far, significant exports of vaccines from the EU, including all the Pfizer vaccines supplied to the UK, but no exports of vaccines produced in the UK.

Dr Giuseppe Enrico Bignardi

Durham

Red recovery

Liverpool are going through a bad spell. They will return to form.

Let’s not forget that in the 1974-75 season, Manchester United were relegated to the second division. They have not done too badly since!

Michael Pate

Preston

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