Proposals from Plaid could see pay increase for NHS staff
NHS staff would be given the first real terms pay increase in over decade under new plans published by Plaid Cymru today.
A fairer pay increase for NHS workers, a wage of £12 per hour as a minimum for care workers, and a package of financial help for those in greatest need are all part of a proposal announced by Plaid Cymru.
The proposals come amid continued strike action by public sector workers in Wales and ongoing disputes with the Labour Welsh Government over pay.
On February 6, the Senedd will debate the Welsh Government Draft Budget for 2023-24.
Plaid Cymru’s amendment to the budget will call on the Welsh Government to increase the basic rate of tax by 1 pence, the higher rate by of tax by 2 pence, and the additional rate of tax by 3 pence.
The proposed plans would increase the budget available to deal with the health and care crisis and provide financial help for people in the greatest need.
£317m would be generated from the tax measures.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said raising additional revenue by varying the rate of tax would give both health and care workers a fairer pay offer would signal an “investment” in the NHS, putting the service on a more “sustainable footing for the future”.
Adam Price said: “Labour cannot in good faith say they are doing everything they can to support health and care workers when they have so far refused to use the tax powers at their disposal.”
Powers devolved through the Wales Act 2017 enable the Welsh Government to vary the rate of income tax for each band – basic, higher and additional, by up to 10p by to the pound.
This 10p bracket on each band is paid directly to the Welsh Government. The rest of income tax collected in Wales goes to the UK Government.
Mr Price added that asking those with the broadest shoulders to contribute more could also generate revenue to fund additional packages of support to those struggling the most during the cost-of-living crisis.
He added: “Our NHS is in crisis, workers are on strike and the Labour Welsh Government is refusing to act.
“Thirteen years of Tory cuts and twenty-five years of Labour mismanagement has left our health and care workers demoralised, exhausted and struggling to make ends meet.
“Plaid Cymru’s proposals offer a way forward. Using the tax powers we have here in Wales, we could generate an extra £317 million to offer NHS workers fairer pay and provide care workers with £12 an hour as a minimum.
“Fair pay for nurses will mean fair play for patients and would signal a real investment in our NHS, putting it on a sustainable footing for the future.
“Asking those with the broadest shoulders to contribute the most would also allow us to create a Welsh Solidarity Fund that could help extend free school meals to secondary schools for families in receipt of universal credit, support people struggling to pay their mortgages, or increase the Education Maintenance Allowance to help young people continue their education.
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I don’t disagree with PC on this – but it isn’t a vote winner, sadly.
Neither was putting a green tax on bins…you get the country you vote and pay for…
Plaid are right to call for a rise in the basic rates of income tax in Wales. Fact is if we want to pay staff who work in our public services a decent wage then we as a society have to be willing to finance it and the fairest and most effective way of doing that is through general taxation.
High levels of taxation, especially fundamental ones like the general taxation on income, without meaningful control over most levers needed to manage the national financial landscape (international trade, natural resources etc) is an absolute disaster, further pushing the domestic inflationary spiral as spending begins to stagnate, pushing more people to move in the public sector, diminishing the pot to draw from for public sector wages, more strikes, increase in joblessness, rinse, repeat. Fair is only “fair” and effective is only “effective”, it seems, when you simply state that it is so – how exactly is it fair? how on earth… Read more »
Sad truth is that for all the pubic says it backs the nurses and teachers in their campaigns for better pay the same public will not vote for for higher taxes which are necessary to pay for the better pay.