• Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth MP said NHS staff will get wage they ‘deserve’
  • Shadow health secretary also pledged to restore collective bargaining in NHS
  • Health minister Philip Dunne called the Labour pay cap policies ‘nonsensical’

Jason Groves

and
Daniel Martin for the Daily Mail

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has vowed Labour will scrap an NHS pay cap and give staff a wage they 'deserve'

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has vowed Labour will scrap an NHS pay cap and give staff a wage they 'deserve'

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has vowed Labour will scrap an NHS pay cap and give staff a wage they ‘deserve’

Labour will today pledge to tear up the NHS pay cap in a move that could blow a £1billion hole in the health budget.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth will commit the party to scrapping the one per cent ceiling that has helped to prevent health trusts slipping even further into the red.

He will also pledge to restore collective bargaining in the NHS, strengthening the hand of Labour’s union paymasters in negotiations.

The move came as Jeremy Corbyn met with Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood to discuss civil service preparations for the potential transition to a Labour government after the June 8 elections.

Theresa May also warned senior ministers against complacency despite polls showing a 20-point Tory lead. Public sector pay restraint has played a key role in bringing down the budget deficit left behind by the Labour government.

But, despite the deficit still standing at more than £50billion a year, Mr Ashworth will say the time for restraint is over.

Labour sources indicated that the move could lead to pay rises trebling to more than three per cent, in line with the Retail Price Index measure of inflation.

A rise on this scale would cost the NHS around £1billion a year in additional pay. 

Mr Ashworth will say the move is essential following years in which NHS staff have been ‘ignored, insulted, undervalued, overworked and underpaid’. ‘I can pledge today that a Labour government will scrap the pay cap and give our NHS workers the pay they deserve,’ he will say.

 Labour's pay pledge could cost taxpayers a £1billion a year, blowing a hole in the NHS budget

 Labour's pay pledge could cost taxpayers a £1billion a year, blowing a hole in the NHS budget

 Labour’s pay pledge could cost taxpayers a £1billion a year, blowing a hole in the NHS budget

CORBYN ‘HEADING FOR DISASTER’

With just weeks to go before the General Election, Labour is heading for disaster in the local council polls.

Experts said Jeremy Corbyn’s party faced ‘a kicking’ in Wales in the May 4 council elections – while it was ‘heading for disaster’ in Scotland. Labour could also shed 75 seats in English councils – almost one in seven of the total it is defending.

Major councils such as Glasgow and Cardiff, which have been Labour-run for decades, could fall, it is predicted.

Analysis by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, of Plymouth University, put the Tories on track for likely gains of around 115 councillors in England. The Liberal Democrats stand to gain around 85, and have hopes of taking control of Cornwall.

But Ukip is facing near wipeout, potentially losing 105 English seats – having already forfeited some due to defections.

Professor Roger Scully, of Cardiff University, told a briefing hosted by the Political Studies Association in London: ‘Labour are likely to get another kicking in the local elections in Wales.’

And Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, said: ‘It looks as though Labour is heading for disaster north of the border. And therefore, it will be very, very surprising indeed if Labour retains control of any council in Scotland.’

 

Other pledges will include legislation for ‘safe staffing’ levels in hospitals – and reversing controversial cuts to bursaries for students studying for a career in the NHS.

A Labour briefing note on the proposals, however, gave no clue to how the measures would be funded.

Scrapping the public sector pay cap has been a key demand of Labour’s union backers and was welcomed last night by the giant Unison union

Health minister Philip Dunne called the policies ‘nonsensical’.

Mrs May criticised the opposition party’s record in Wales, where the Labour-run assembly has cut the NHS budget by 8 per cent and led to one in seven people on a waiting list.

Other Labour pledges  include legislation for ‘safe staffing’ levels in hospitals – and reversing controversial cuts to bursaries for students studying for a career in the NHS

Other Labour pledges  include legislation for ‘safe staffing’ levels in hospitals – and reversing controversial cuts to bursaries for students studying for a career in the NHS

Other Labour pledges  include legislation for ‘safe staffing’ levels in hospitals – and reversing controversial cuts to bursaries for students studying for a career in the NHS

At a rally in Bridgend, she said: ‘If you want to see what Labour would do to the NHS, just look at the problems here in Wales.’

But the PM also repeated warnings against the dangers of Tory complacency, adding: ‘Make no mistake – it [a Labour victory] could happen.

‘Remember, the opinion polls were wrong in the 2015 general election. They were wrong in the referendum last year. And Jeremy Corbyn himself has said he was a 200 to 1 outsider for the Labour leadership in 2015 and look where that one went.

‘So we must not be complacent and I’m not complacent.’

No mention of migrants or defence in TV script for MPs 

By Jack Doyle, Executive Political Editor 

A ‘script’ for Labour MPs to use during the election campaign makes no mention of immigration or defence, it emerged last night.

It also contains only a passing reference to party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The document – leaked to the Huffington Post website – sets out Labour’s main messages to voters on the doorsteps and on TV.

A ‘script’ for Labour MPs to use during the election campaign makes no mention of immigration or defence and contains only a passing reference to party leader Jeremy Corbyn

A ‘script’ for Labour MPs to use during the election campaign makes no mention of immigration or defence and contains only a passing reference to party leader Jeremy Corbyn

A ‘script’ for Labour MPs to use during the election campaign makes no mention of immigration or defence and contains only a passing reference to party leader Jeremy Corbyn

It shows the party will make a rash of expensive policy pledges but with no mention of how any of it will be paid for.

Any promises on controlling immigration or protecting the Armed Forces are notably missing.

The party’s two main messages will be: ‘A Labour who will build a better Britain for the many’ and ‘A Conservative Party who stand only for the few.’

Mr Corbyn’s name does not appear until much lower down.

‘With Jeremy Corbyn, Labour will stand up for you,’ it says. In a passing reference to Brexit, the document claims: ‘Labour is the only party that can be trusted to put the interests of working people first in the negotiation.’

Listing a series of policies, it says Labour would ‘give the NHS the money it needs’ and impose a new living wage of £10 an hour. Labour would also build a million new homes and reduce school class sizes.

In addition, it would retain the triple lock on pensions and give all primary school children free meals – paid for with VAT on private schools.

 

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