THE government would recoup nearly half the cost of lifting the NHS pay cap though higher tax receipts and lower benefit payments, says a new report published today.
The lowest-paid NHS staff, including nurses, have been forced to claim benefits and to use foodbanks by the Tories’ imposition of below-inflation pay increases.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says the cost of increasing NHS pay in line with inflation would be £1.8 billion per year by 2019-20.
But the actual cost would drop to about £950 million when the benefits of the pay boost are taken into account, the left-leaning think tank says.
When taking higher tax receipts and lower welfare payments into account, the IPPR said the net cost falls to £1.1bn. An additional £250m would be generated in gross domestic product by 2019-20, with tax income of £100m, according to the Lifting the Cap report.
Chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing Janet Davies said: “This analysis unpicks the government’s argument on the costliness of allowing NHS pay to keep pace with inflation.”
Labour shadow health minister Justin Madders said NHS workers were being driven out of the health service, which has to spend £3bn on agency workers to plug its staffing gaps.
“The government should end the NHS pay cap now and explain how they will fund it so that a long overdue pay rise does not come at the expense of other services,” he said.