Nurses are £3,400 worse off under the SNP

Scotland’s nurses have seen a real terms pay cut of £3,400 under the SNP, Labour can reveal.

Visiting the Royal College of Nurses today, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and health spokesperson Anas Sarwar will reveal the analysis showing how the average nurse is worse off as a result of the SNP pay cap on NHS staff.

Analysis from the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows pay at the starting point of Band 5 has increased by 6% over the period April 2010 – April 2017.  Over the same period, prices (as measured by the retail price index – RPI) have increased by 22%. This means that Band 5 starting point pay has fallen by 13% in real terms over the period.

UK Labour has committed to scrapping the one per cent pay cap – and Scottish Labour will challenge the SNP to meet that pledge in a Holyrood vote on Wednesday.

Previous research from Labour revealed that the number of long-term unfilled nursing posts in our NHS has increased by more than 300 per cent under the SNP, leaving Scotland’s NHS staff overworked and under increasing pressure.

The choice in this election is now clear: Labour MPs who will stand up for working people or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will say:

“Our NHS staff are the foundation of our health service, but they aren’t getting the support and they resources they need from the SNP government.

In fact, nurses in our health service have faced on average a real terms cut of £3,400 as a result of the Nationalist pay cap.

The first step in delivering an NHS that delivers the care Scots needs is to give staff the pay they deserve. Labour would scrap the 1 per cent pay cap to give our NHS staff the pay increase they deserve.

The choice in this election is clear – Labour MPs who will fight for better wages and a stronger NHS, or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum that Scotland doesn’t want.”

RCN Director Theresa Fyffe will add:

“Budget savings achieved through pay restraint are being used to meet efficiency-saving targets for the NHS. The result is that NHS staff pay has fallen way behind the cost of living and many nursing staff are now struggling to survive on their pay packet.

Nursing staff are facing mounting challenges – dealing with an unprecedented increase in demand and patients with increasingly complex needs – as well as chronic staff shortages and intensified workloads.

The situation is unsustainable. The RCN is calling on politicians from all parties to show that they value nursing staff by ending the 1% pay cap and paying them a fair wage.”

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32 thoughts on “Nurses are £3,400 worse off under the SNP

  1. I think you will find that all public sector workers have been restricted to a 1% pay increase due to Westminster (Tory) austerity, not just nurses.

    How does Labour propose funding pay increases for the public sector, apart from their usual, put up taxes by 1p which they seem to think will solve all of Scotlands problems.

    Maybe if we weren’t paying for infrastructure projects in England (HS2 etc), we could fund essential services in Scotland better.

    1. 1. Nurses’ pay is under the control of the SNP Scottish Government, not the Tories.

      2. SNP has chosen to pass on Tory tax cuts and Tory austerity for years, because gullible idiots like you will loudly pretend they have no choice when in reality they do.

      3. HS2 spending in England results in Barnett consequentials in Scotland, so in fact it provides additional money which the SNP could choose to spend on nurses’ pay if they wanted to. But they don’t.

      1. Having to resort to insults shows you don’t have an answer to the question, which you also failed to answer.

        So you seem to think Scotland paying for infrastructure in England, that we get no benefit from is OK, as we get some pocket money back as a result as Barnett consequentials.

        If the Tory Government in Westminster cut Scotlands Block Grant, where is the money going to come from to compensate for that. Tax folk in Scotland even more for the policies of a government we didn’t vote for? Given that the article is about peoples wages being squeezed, do you really want to tax these people more! And you have the nerve to call me an idiot.

        We could cut money from elsewhere, so what do you suggest we cut in order to offset the effects of Tory austerity, and I would like an answer to that, not insults.

        1. Billions of pounds is not pocket money.

          And never mind the “if”. How about dealing with the reality. The UK government INCREASED the block grant last year, in real terms not just in cash terms.

          The bottom line is this: devolution allows the Scottish Government to do things differently. The SNP claim to want to do things differently. But time after time they choose to ape or endorse Tory cuts, rather than use their powers to reverse them.

          We both know why this is – if they demonstrate that the devolved powers allow us to make different choices, they lose their most powerful argument for independence. And independence is their single political aim. So they sacrifice the wellbeing of Scots in order to be able to push for separation. This is no more starkly demonstrated than in the recently released educational results for kids who have spent their entirely school life under an independence-obsessed SNP government.

          I suggest you stop making excuses for them and start demanding they use the powers they were elected to use to make lives better.

          1. So what would Labour do differently if the SNP are doing things so badly, you still haven’t answered that question.

          2. Labour would use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make different choices from the Tories.

            It’s not complicated.

          3. That is just a generic answer, you still haven’t answered the question, which is actually quite simple.

            What would Labour do to improve matters, that the SNP aren’t doing?

          4. We’d remove the Sword of Damocles that is the threat of a second independence referendum from over the heads of Scots, allowing investment to resume with confidence and reversing the damage to Scotland’s economy that this constant threat has caused. We’d be able to focus parliamentary time on education, health and social security, rather than on constitutional change. And yes, we’d use the extensive tax powers of the Scottish Parliament, not to cut Air Passenger Duty as the SNP/Tory alliance are doing, but to implement progressive taxation to improve services for those who most rely on them.

          5. Studies have shown that investment in Scotland didn’t fall as a result of the Independence Referendum, and that no damage has been caused as a result of it.

            So you are basically saying that Scottish labour will just tax folk to the hilt to pay for your policies – care to provide costs for your proposals?

          6. I didn’t claim it had. Read more carefully. I said the current threat of a second ref was damaging confidence and limiting investment.

            And no, I’m saying what I actually said. And you have absolutely no answer to the charge that the SNP spent a decade demanding powers then refused to use them to improve people’s lives, because it is 100% true.

          7. We have been over these “list of powers” before – where’s the “Near Federalism/Devo-Max” Gordon Brown promised? All the unionist parties did everything they could to deny Scotland any meaningful powers.

            The only real tool the Scottish Government has is to raise Income Tax. That hasn’t been used by a Westminster Government since the mid 70’s, that’s how acceptable they deem it to be, yet Labour think that exact same tool is going to cure all of Scotlands financial problems!

          8. I guess we are just ignoring the fact that Labour controlled councils had the opportunity to raise the council tax this year and offset the supposed cuts they continually whined about but chose not to.

            It couldn’t be because the level of change needed would be practically and politically impossible when you only have one effective means of raising that money, that being the pockets of ordinary people. Whether its council tax locally or income tax nationally. You need a range of revenue streams if you want to increase revenue in a fair and practical manner.

            Whatever the reason for their failure to do locally what you insist the SNP do nationally, it is either hypocrisy or an insight into what Labour would “REALLY” do with income tax if they won at Holyrood. That is, nothing.

      2. Your point 3. is currently true but won’t be very soon under the new Scotland Act.

        The new financial settlement leaves some Barnett spending but mainly moves over to Scotland’s own tax with the devolved income tax and VAT being added to council tax and business rates.

        It’s something that has had surprisingly little publicity or debate which is odd considering how big a change it is.

        1. Not sure where you’ve picked that up. Barnett stays exactly as it is under the new Scotland Act.

          As an aside, it’s fascinating to watch SNP politicians working hard to look both ways on this sort of issue. After campaigning for three years to completely break from Barnett and every other benefit of union, they then adopted a policy of full fiscal autonomy, but come UK elections argue that “the unionists” want to take away Barnett and what an outrage it would be if it happened.

          Extraordinary as it is to watch them spin so dishonestly, it is all the more depressing to see voters eat up these utterly infeasible combinations of policies, and regurgitate them in the form of “standing up for Scotland”. In reality the SNP stands up only for itself. In the words of their former Glasgow leader, “Everything the SNP does is a stepping stone to independence.” What a sad indictment of a dishonest party.

          1. “After campaigning for three years to completely break from Barnett and every other benefit of union, they then adopted a policy of full fiscal autonomy, but come UK elections argue that “the unionists” want to take away Barnett and what an outrage it would be if it happened”.

            There is no dichotomy there. They are just positions the SNP has taken on vastly different circumstances. Full Fiscal Autonomy is broadly similar to Independence but was a reaction to the fact NO won the referendum. As neither Independence nor FFA happened (despite Gordon Brown’s assurances) the retention of Barnett becomes essential in a devolved “region” with the likelihood of a malevolent Tory Govt at Westminster for years to come desperate to cut it.

          2. What a dreadful pile of shite. Gordon Brown never suggested FFA. He argued against it. The SNP are shysters.

          3. Cheers.

            Granted, on reflection, it was Federalism that Gordon promised us. It didn’t happen either.

            Apart from that, can you be a little more informative and a little less …. abrasive.

          4. You argued that Barnett was necessary because FFA didn’t happen. I think abrasiveness is understandable when people punt such ludicrous and dishonest arguments.

          5. Why is it “ludicrous and dishonest”?

            With FFA, Barnet is unnecessary as Scotland would have full control of ALL revenue streams and where it is spent therefore making Barnet redundant.

            Without either FFA or Barnet, Scotland’s budget would be set at the whim of a malevolent Tory govt at Westminster.

            You may trust the Tories to “see Scotland alright” but I don’t. There are many Tory MPs (and not a few Labour ones) who would gladly see Scotland’s budget slashed. With only income tax to fall back on, ordinary Scots would have to pay eye watering amounts of personal tax to make up the difference.

            Can you explain why this would not be the case?

          6. Scotland is in massive deficit as a proportion of GDP. With FFA we would have to live within those means. With Barnett we pool and share the resources of the whole UK, including the cheaper borrowing available to the whole UK, to mitigate that fact.

            Public services are more expensive to deliver in Scotland because of our geography and our demographics. Barnett recognises that. FFA says tough shit, you’ve got what you’ve got, time to make cuts.

            You cannot honestly argue for FFA one minute and Barnett the next.

          7. The UK is also in “massive deficit as a proportion of GDP”. Sometimes Scotland is worse, sometimes better. With no real control over either the economy, revenue (bar income tax … to some extent) or immigration Scotland can’t do much to influence which side of that equation it will land on. A malevolent Tory govt at Westminster can (and probably will) ensure we land on the nasty side.

            With FFA, Scotland has the opportunity to change the direction of the Scottish economy and ensure we end on the nicer side of the equation. It is not perfect as Westminster would still control immigration and “external affairs” which would still hamper Scotland’s ability to make decisions in it’s own best interests, but it is still better than the “Westminster lottery” (will the Tories slash Scotland’s budget …. we don’t know …. Scotland has no real influence over the decision) we currently “rely” on.

            Obviously, independence would remove all barriers to Scotland’s ability to make it’s own decisions in it’s own best interests and therefore aspire to prosper as ALL our small, independent neighbours do. No doubt you will disagree. I have noticed unionists seem incapable of seeing beyond how bad things are under the union and visualising how change could make them better.

            By the way, you have still failed to give me an answer to my repeated questions about why you think Scotland’s apparent (according to unionists like yourself) poor economic situation under the union is an argument FOR the union. Surely we should be prospering as our near neighbours do if it is so good for us. But we are not and have not done so for many, many decades (despite the North Sea bonanza). Why?

  2. Would Gordon Browns promise of “modern Home Rule” not include FFA, surely you cannot have one without the other.

    And Duncan why will you not answer “Dave’s” questions ? though he does appear to have you burling on a pointy stick right now.

    Its a pity you don’t as much time spinning against the tories as you appear to do against bettering Scotland.

    1. Well done on completely missing the point. The SNP argued to get rid of Barnett (FFA) and then turned round and demanded it stay. It’s like them joining with the Tories in voting down a 50p rate of tax on February, and then condemning the Tories and backing the 50p rate again in May.

      The SNP have no principles. Everything they do is designed as a stepping stone to independence.

      1. Barnett is not FFA.

        Granted, the SNP’s apparent newfound desire for a 50% higher band income tax rate could be seen as opportunistic but they had only said it was unlikely to be effective before. I doubt that has changed but they have an extreme right wing Tory party to oppose. When circumstances change, only a fool would not reassess policies they are not ideologically opposed to. Such is the case with the SNP and the 50% tax rate.

        And anyway, is it any more “unprincipled” than Labour only introducing the 50% rate in 2010 after 13 years of govt, knowing full well that the incoming Tory govt would just axe it? If it was so important to Labour why wasn’t it introduced earlier?

        1. After researching the situation, it turns out the SNP have always supported a 50% tax rate ….. at Westminster. They didn’t support it for Scotland alone as the Scottish parliament has no powers to prevent avoidance which could lead to a loss of revenue instead of a rise (as Scottish Labour (sic) leader Kezia Dugdale herself acknowledged). If Westminster institutes it, with all the powers over avoidance they alone currently possess, then the SNP are, and always have been, happy to implement it in Scotland. No u-turning or such-like in evidence.

          1. What powers over tax avoidance? Can you name them? What are the laws that define those powers? Do they work on the 45p rate of tax in place now? Why would they not work on a 50p rate? And what sort of mad nationalism would suppose that these laws would kick in if a 50p rate was set across the UK but wouldn’t kick in if it was set only in Scotland?

            I await your answers with anticipation.

          2. Seriously Mr Hothersall, you are implying there are NO laws or powers to tackle tax avoidance in the UK?

            That is nonsense. Of course there are. Others can be created by the UK govt when and as they wish. However, the Scottish govt has no such powers. Tax is reserved to Westminster. Holyrood can only vary bands locally, they cannot legislate to change the rules.

            Were Scotland to go it alone on the 50% rate, there would be nothing they could do to stop those wealthy (Tories … mostly) from simply changing their primary residence to England in order to avoid paying. Thus depriving Scotland of revenue, not increasing it.

            With a UK wide rate, that loophole vanishes. Independence allows us to tweak all the revenue streams to increase the take while not causing a flight of those and such-as-those

          3. No, I’m not implying anything. I asked you a set of questions to attempt to get you to substantiate your very woolly attempt to absolve the SNP for any responsibility for properly funding public services. You have answered none of them.

            In fact all you did was create another hostage to fortune. Please explain HOW “Independence allows us to tweak all the revenue streams to increase the take while not causing a flight of those and such-as-those”. You may get away with just repeating this pablum to others, but here you get held to account. HOW would an independent Scotland increase revenue? What changes would it make?

            Your problem is that there is no meat on these bones. SNP economics stops at the point it’s successfully persuaded people to vote for independence. Everything after that is handwaving.

          4. You need to calm down Mr Hothersall. You are expecting things of me that we do not see from you.

            I am not “the SNP”. I am just a guy who goes to work in the morning and comes home in the evening. I also happen to believe Scotland would be better able to prosper as an independent country and that the SNP is the best vehicle to accomplish that.

            To address some of your questions;

            a) Why ask me to list laws and powers to address tax avoidance when you know they exist? Is it to show up my lack of an encyclopaedic knowledge of law? To what end? Do you think it nullifies the point? It’s the desperate ploy of a man who knows he’s losing the argument.

            b) ” How would independence allow us to tweak all the revenue streams etc …?” Because, Mr Hothersall, Scotland would be independent and therefore these powers would be Scotland’s to wield. Its not rocket science. By spreading any increases needed to maintain public services over many revenue streams, the burden on individuals will be lessened therefore reducing the chance some may relocate. Again, its not rocket science.

            c) “How would an independent Scotland increase revenue? What changes would it make?” Clearly that would be up to the govt of the day. Just as it is in every other country in the world. I trust those govts (of whatever hue) would govern with Scotland’s interests paramount. Unlike now where it is an afterthought, if we’re lucky. Rocket science not.

            d) The “meat on the bones” is in Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, etc. All the small, successful independent countries of W. Europe. Which brings me back to the question you have repeatedly avoided for months now. If the union is so good for Scotland, why is it not at least as prosperous as these small countries instead of the charity case unionists insist it is?

            e) You say I will be held to account. Well, I have told you what I believe … woolly or whatever. Perhaps I could hold you to account. Finally answer my question above and also inform us how Labour would pay for ALL the things it demands the Scottish govt spend £bns more on. The 50% rate won’t even pay for a small fraction of it. Where is the rest of the money coming from? Put some meat on those bones.

  3. “How would an independent Scotland improve revenue”, by not running it the Westminster way would help. Duncan and the rest of the yoons always have this illusion that an independent Scotland would be run exactly the same way as the UK is.

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