The British Medical Association (BMA) has hit out against the government after it announced that a capped one per cent pay rise may not given to all public sector workers, including NHS doctors and nurses.
Treasury secretary Greg Hands revealed the news in a letter sent to all independent public sector pay review bodies, including the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB).
He said that the one per cent cap, unveiled by chancellor George Osborne in the Budget earlier this year, could be utilised to resolve the well-documented recruitment problems some areas of the public sector is facing, with some receiving more or less than the limit.
In response, the BMA said that Mr Hands has undermined the independent review process, calling his letter a "disgraceful act of bad faith".
Earlier this year, the government awarded a 1.16 per cent rise on contract payments to deliver a one per cent pay increase that worked in-line with the current and ongoing freeze. In July, the chancellor revealed that public sector workers would get an extra one per cent in their pay packets over the next four years.
In his letter, the Treasury secretary said that government will roll out these pay rises they will be applied in a "targeted manner to support the delivery of public services, and to address recruitment and retention pressures".
He added that this will likely lead to a situation where some workers received the maximum of one per cent, while others get markedly less. Mr Hands said that the next step will be for government departments to submit their proposals regarding their "workforce needs".
Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA, lashed out at the secretary's letter, explaining: "Not content with making frontline NHS staff bear the brunt of cuts in recent years, the government is now moving the goal posts barely two months after its announcement of a capped one per cent pay rise.
‘This constant chipping away at pay at a time when frontline NHS staff are working harder than ever to keep up with rising demand on the health service leaves staff feeling devalued and demoralised."
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