Jeremy Hunt heralds 'good news' as he confirms 'pay cap has been scrapped'

Updated: 

Jeremy Hunt has told the Commons that the pay cap has been scrapped.

The Health Secretary was told by Labour MP Marsha De Cordova (Battersea) that lifting the cap on health workers' pay would be in the best interests of patients.

Mr Hunt replied: "I can give you good news - the pay cap has been scrapped."

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (Neil Hall/PA)

Mr Hunt also said it was recognised the 1% cap "wasn't sustainable" for the future, with leeway given to have "more flexible negotiations" next year.

Ms De Cordova had told Mr Hunt: "Hospital wards and GP surgeries are chronically understaffed and the knock-on effect are the waiting lists, which are spiralling out of control. Isn't it in the best interests of patients that the pay cap is scrapped so the NHS can run with the relevant number of staff in place?"

Mr Hunt, in response to Labour MP Christian Matheson (City of Chester), earlier said: "Without pay restraint we wouldn't have 11,300 more doctors in the NHS, 11,300 more nurses in our wards.

"But you will be aware that we recognise it wasn't sustainable to carry on with the 1% going forward and that's why next year we've been given the leeway to have more flexible negotiations."

"The pay cap has been scrapped" says Hunt, but no plans to actually increase NHS pay - how does that work? @IpswichLabour

-- Sandy Martin (@sandyofipswich) October 10, 2017

Labour successfully moved a non-binding motion last month calling for the scrapping of the pay cap for NHS workers.

The motion attracted support from the DUP although no formal vote was pushed, which enabled the Tories to avoid the embarrassment of seeing their minority administration allies walking through the lobbies in support of Labour.