Ulster Unionist Party Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has warned that NHS staff in Northern Ireland are likely to miss out on the 6.5% pay increase announced in England as a result of the continuing political stalemate at Stormont.
Roy Beggs said:
“The UUP has long argued that because health workers here are signed up to the NHS’s wider UK terms and conditions, they should be treated no worse or paid any less than their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales. Yet that is exactly what has been happening for some time and now, with this latest increase of over 6%, the gap is going to widen even further.
“I’m glad that the UK Government has at last decided to move away from the arbitrary and discriminatory 1% pay cap for health workers, something which they would have been forced to drop last year had it not been for the DUP MPs at Westminster disgracefully voting to support its continuation.
“It is an abhorrent situation however that once again our local NHS staff are now going to be left even further behind.
“Whilst the pay increase in England will see more money coming to Northern Ireland through the Barnett funding system, there are absolutely no guarantees or even suggestions as of yet that the money will be used to pay for a similar pay increase here. A local Minister and Executive could ensure the money was spent on a pay deal so I fear instead it will simply be diverted to the black hole in Northern Ireland’s finances.
“The NHS would simply not be the institution we all know and cherish were it not for its staff. The fact that those same staff in Northern Ireland could now be further punished is just the latest example of how people here are being impacted by the recurrent failure of the DUP and Sinn Fein sham talks at Stormont.”