The Government is facing a furious backlash after calling for NHS staff in England to be restricted to a pay rise of just 1%.
Ministers defended the proposal at a time when the economy was under “huge pressure” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
But health service unions denounced the proposed award as a “kick in the teeth” for staff who had given “absolutely everything” over the past year to keep the public safe.
Appearing on BBC Question Time, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said while the performance of the NHS had been “first class”, many people in the private sector faced losing their jobs.
“No one is doubting the NHS has been absolutely first class in this whole pandemic. What I am suggesting is that the whole economy has been under huge pressure,” he said.
“When I look at people in the hospitality sector, in aviation, in retail, many of them are very, very worried they won’t even be in a job in two or three months.”
There has been outrage at the decision and many took to Twitter to vent their rage, and #Toryscum began to trend.
Here are some of the reactions.
I’m a nurse and I’ve just been told by Boris Johnson that I’m only getting 1% pay rise.— ziggy (@Karenlovecheese) March 4, 2021
But we have the huge gratitude of the public.
I’ve literally just been told by Boris that the clapping was enough.
I’m incandescent with rage. #NHSPay15 #toryscum
PPE Selfies were so last wave.— Sam W (@SamAWillc) March 4, 2021
But I’m more tired, more worn out and even more deflated after today’s news of a measly 1% pay rise for NHS Staff.
I hope @theRCN make it clear in their statement, that we will no longer accept this rubbish treatment pic.twitter.com/ELBgCHbN34
The govt are proposing a 1% pay rise for NHS staff which adjusted for inflation is a pay cut. Good thing my mortgage provider takes all the claps I received last year. 🙌 #nhspayrise #Budget #ToryScum #NHSPay15 #Nursing #NHSPay #nhs pic.twitter.com/dPiPmf1oXU— 🚑🌈Josh 🇪🇺💙 (@1Joshwa) March 5, 2021
NHS workers have spent the last year putting their lives on the line everyday. To only give them a 1% pay rise is not only insulting it’s downright disrespectful.— Simon Davies 🏳️🌈 (@MyNameIsSimon88) March 4, 2021
Yet people still vote Conservative for some reason that I will never be able to fathom.#NHS #ToryScum
37bn to Serco.— Peter O’Hanraha-hanrahan 💙 (@PeterOHanrahaH) March 5, 2021
Contract after contract after contract to donors and associates mostly.
Even Matt Hancocks former landlord got given one.
Then 1% to the medical staff that have given their all. It is an insult, can’t even call it derisory. Utter #ToryScum
I'm a senior (band 6) Nurse.— Callum Bell (@Callum_Bell8) March 4, 2021
A 1% pay rise only puts an extra £6 in my pocket each week, which doesn't even cover how much I get charged for parking at work.