210971 - NHS: Pay (Answered)

Mrs Anne Main
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the cost would be of awarding all NHS staff the annual increment plus a one per cent pay rise; and what the actual cost is of the Government's current proposals on pay for NHS staff.

Dr Daniel Poulter

The Government has had to make difficult decisions this year on pay but staff will be receiving an award worth at least 1% either through annual incremental progression or a non-consolidated payment for those at the top of the payscales.

Just over half of Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) staff would be expected to receive incremental pay progression worth an average of around 3.5%. This is estimated to cost nearly £800 million, or around 1.75% of paybill, in 2014-15. Some of this cost would be expected to be offset by the net effects of joiners and leavers on the mix of staff across incremental pay points, but it remains the case that paybill pressures would be nearly £800 million lower without incremental progression.

For 2014-15, the cost of the Pay Review Bodies’ recommendations of a 1% pay uplift for all HCHS staff would have been around £450 million, or 1% of paybill. By contrast, the headline cost of non-consolidated awards worth 1% of basic pay for those at the top of their pay band, as actually awarded, is estimated at around £150 million, or around 0.35% of paybill.

The Government is committed to a National Health Service that provides safe, compassionate care. The choice we faced was either to invest more in pay or to protect the front line; we cannot afford to do both. The Government believes the decision to protect the front line, whilst a difficult decision to make, was the correct one.