Today, on the 69th birthday of our National Health Service (NHS) the Prime Minister Theresa May took aim at frontline nurses in her responses to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions.
In response to Jeremy Corbyn’s questioning Theresa May praised the pay cap, citing issues with the Greek economy and the job losses in their health professions. A polite way of telling nurses that they should shut up, put up, and be grateful to be employed. This sentiment was echoed yesterday by David Cameron who called nurses ‘selfish’ for demanding a pay rise.
The public sector pay cap is causing a real shortage in the nursing profession, where the number of nurses and midwives has fallen by 1,783 according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council. With UK hospitals at critical capacity, nurses and doctors are acting on good faith by working considerable overtime for free. However, they’re suffering mentally and physically to keep our routine services running.
Theresa May is happy for nurses to continue requiring the use of food banks or emergency loans to get by, declaring there is ‘no magic money tree’ – whilst providing tax breaks for the rich, and stumping up an extra £1bn to keep herself in the job.
In a bitter blow to the moral of nurses and midwives all over the country figures reveal the wage cap has seen take-home pay reduced by over £6,000 since 2010. Many are leaving the nursing profession to stack shelves in supermarkets as wages continue to plummet.
Surely, it’s about time Theresa May put her money where her mouth is to lift the 1% pay cap and stop crushing the living standards of our frontline staff?