Welsh Tories accuse Keir Starmer of hypocrisy over NHS pay rise
The Welsh Tories have accused Keir Starmer of hypocrisy after he slated the UK Government’s offer of a pay rise for NHS workers in England.
Labour’s Westminster leader branded the offer of a 3% increase as “shameful”, despite the Labour Welsh Government offering NHS staff the same in Wales.
Appearing on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show this morning, Starmer said the pay rise is “not enough and not fair” and that “the (UK) Government has treated them (NHS staff) very, very badly”.
He was answering a question from an NHS psychologist on a “Call Keir” segment.
However, Mark Drakeford’s Welsh Labour Government decided to give NHS staff the same 3% increase as the UK Government did for those in England.
Both matched the recommendation of the NHS Pay Review Body and the Doctor and Dentist Review body.
In response to Starmer’s comments, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS said: “Sadly this is not the first time that a UK Labour leader has, in pursuit of a cheap headline, contradicted their own party in Wales.
“Doing so on this important and emotive issue shows Starmer is either ignorant of the one Labour Government in Britain or is happy to sow confusion among voters.
“This itself begs the question of whether Labour actually thinks the pay rise is insufficient or have cynically chosen to play politics.”
Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan said the wage increase “recognises the dedication and commitment” of staff.
In England, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the pay rise was a recognition of the “extraordinary efforts” of NHS workers.
The Royal College of Nursing in Wales said nurses had been left “disappointed and upset” by the offer, adding that it was a “long way off” the 12.5% that the union had been campaigning for. Most NHS nurses in Scotland were awarded a 4% pay rise earlier this year.