Why does Labour even exist if it can’t protect Welsh workers? asks Leanne Wood
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has challenged the Labour government to honour its manifesto commitment and lift the NHS pay cap.
Leanne Wood asked the First Minister to commit to lifting the pay cap in the next budget, and warned that the old system of Westminster deciding pay and conditions is past its sell by date.
The Scottish Government has committed to working with unions to lift the pay cap in its 2018 budget.
The Welsh NHS Confederation estimates that the NHS pay bill is about £3bn. A pay rise in line with CPI (2.3%) could cost about £70m extra, which Plaid Cymru believes is affordable within the existing government budget.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said:
“Plaid Cymru wants to lift the NHS pay cap. For too long, doctors, nurses and other NHS staff have seen their pay frozen, whilst bankers continue to receive bonuses, and the Royal family continues to receive year on year inflation-busting increases in funding, as do politicians and those at the top of the scale at local government.
“Labour in Wales committed to scrapping the NHS pay cap in its 2017 manifesto. We have a Labour Government in Wales, twenty eight Welsh Labour MPs and still the NHS pay cap stays.
“The Welsh Government has it in its gift to take action today to protect nurses and other NHS staff in Wales. It could have made a clear commitment today to provide that funding in next year’s budget. It chooses not to. That’s a political choice.
“The Welsh Government has implemented the UK Government’s austerity in full and now it refuses to consider easing it. It begs the question – why does Labour even exist if it can’t protect Welsh workers?”