Well being minister hits again at declare authorities not speaking to unions on pay – UK politics stay | Politics

Maria Caulfield.

Key occasions

Caulfield claims ‘overwhelming majority’ of hospital sufferers in England will not be affected by at this time’s strike

And listed below are some extra strains from Maria Caulfield, the well being minister talking for the federal government on the morning interview spherical.

For the overwhelming majority of sufferers, they gained’t be affected when it comes to going to procedures and appointments and operations.

If their belief is affected, they might have been in contact with them to allow them to know what’s occurring.

  • She expressed doubt that the elevated pay provide to well being staff in Wales would resolve the strikes. Most well being unions in Wales known as off this weeks after the Welsh authorities tabled a revised provide in order that their members can contemplate it. However, when requested why the UK authorities was not doing the identical for well being staff in England, Caulfield instructed the At this time programme:

The provide in Wales, 3%, is barely really a 1.5% pay improve, after which one other 1.5% lump sum fee. And that’s being put to members in Wales. A a lot greater provide was put to members in Scotland earlier than Christmas and was rejected. So we’re in no means in Wales out of the woods when it comes to a deal being carried out.

  • She insisted that providing an above-inflation pay excessive rise to nurses would gas inflation. However when the At this time presenter Justin Webb put it to her paying workers extra within the NHS wouldn’t result in costs going up (as paying workers extra does in corporations that fund pay rises by charging clients extra), and requested Caulfield to elucidate what the “mechanism” was by which a pay rise would gas inflation, Caulfield dodged the query. She replied:

It’s not nearly fuelling inflation. It’s paying for it.

When Webb put it to her that the federal government’s case wasn’t, then, concerning the inflation danger in spite of everything, Caulfield replied:

It’s a mix of each. If you happen to give above inflation pay rises, that might in gas inflation. However we’re speaking about – in Wales they’ve bought 3% on the desk. However we have now to pay for it.

And for the time being we’re borrowing document quantities of cash. We’re seeing rates of interest which have gone up as a result of we’ve bought document ranges of borrowing. So it’s the entire monetary image that must be considered.

There’s a danger to sufferers the longer that strikes go on.

So in case your operation is cancelled the primary time, there may be most likely a minimal danger. If that’s cancelled time and time once more due to ongoing strikes, then sufferers turn into extra poorly and there may be at all times a danger.

And with ambulance strikes, if somebody’s having a coronary heart assault or a stroke, that does improve somebody’s danger the longer that response time is.

Maria Caulfield.
Maria Caulfield. {Photograph}: Tayfun Salcı/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

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Well being minister Maria Caulfield hits again at declare authorities not speaking to unions on pay

Good morning. Scotland and Wales have had devolved governments for greater than 20 years, but it surely most likely was not till Covid that folks realised the extent to which, in the case of well being coverage, the UK authorities is simply an England authorities. At this time England is seeing what’s being described because the worst day of disruption in well being this winter, with nurses and ambulance workers each on strike. However well being staff aren’t on strike in Scotland, and there may be solely a restricted ambulance strike in Wales by members of the Unite union. England is totally different as a result of the Scottish and Welsh governments have made improved pay presents, however the UK England authorities will not be doing the identical.

Yesterday Sharon Graham, the Unite normal secretary, stated UK authorities ministers have been mendacity after they stated pay talks with unions have been nonetheless happening.

This morning Maria Caulfield, a well being minister, was the federal government’s designated voice on the morning interview programmes. She didn’t have something new to announce, however she hit again at claims that ministers have been unwilling to speak to the unions. She instructed the At this time programme:

What I might say … to the RCN, as [is] occurring in Scotland, they’ve known as off the strikes to debate the forthcoming 12 months’s pay settlement from April, which is just some weeks away – do the identical in England.

The secretary of state’s been assembly in January, virtually on a weekly foundation, with a variety of well being care unions. So the door is firmly open. And I might ask the RCN and the ambulance unions to get again around the desk.

I’ll publish extra from Caulfield’s interview spherical shortly.

Right here is the agenda for the day.

11.30am: Downing Avenue holds a foyer briefing.

Morning: Keir Starmer and Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow enterprise secretary, are on a go to in Bristol. Starmer is predicted to document a TV interview.

2.30pm: Suella Braverman, the house secretary, takes questions within the Commons.

Afternoon: Friends debate the retained EU legislation (revocation and reform) invoice.

5pm: Spectator TV broadcasts its interview with Liz Truss – her first since she left No 10.

I’ll attempt to monitor the feedback under the road (BTL) however it’s unimaginable to learn all of them. If in case you have a direct query, do embody “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra prone to discover it. I do attempt to reply questions, and if they’re of normal curiosity I’ll publish the query and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you wish to appeal to my consideration shortly, it’s most likely higher to make use of Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you possibly can electronic mail me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

Striking nurses on a picket line outside the Walton Centre in Liverpool this morning.
Putting nurses on a picket line exterior the Walton Centre in Liverpool this morning. {Photograph}: Adam Vaughan/EPA