The effect of pay erosion on my doctors when they see salaries of MPs increase - Yorkshire Post letters

From: Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair, British Medical Association Council.

The scene in the House of Commons shortly after the announcement by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority that MPs' basic pay is to increase by 2.7 per cent to £79,468 from April 1.

TO hear that MPs’ pay has gone up yet again will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of public sector workers – including our heroic NHS staff – who continue to be hit with derisory, below inflation pay rises.

Since 2010, MPs’ pay has risen by more than 20 per cent. Yet, after a decade of austerity and public-sector pay freezes, doctors have seen theirs fall by as much as 30 per cent in real terms.

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Junior doctors, often making life and death decisions, have a starting salary of little more than £30,000 and today it was revealed that 335,000 of our NHS colleagues, who provide vital support to patients and in keeping our health service running, do not even earn the real living wage – £9 per hour. For them these figures will add insult to injury.

The effect that pay erosion has on doctors’ morale and motivation is untenable – especially when they see the salaries of MPs, who have it in their power to make this right, continue to increase at such a rate.

Politicians say they value the NHS, but it really is time they were made to put their money where their mouth is and give the NHS staff the pay rise which they deserve.