'A Nurse Is For Life Not Just For Covid': Kay Burley Blasts Minister Over NHS Pay

The pair clashed as it was announced inflation is at 10.5%.
Kay Burley clashed with Robert Jenrick
Kay Burley clashed with Robert Jenrick
Sky News

Kay Burley clashed with a Tory minister as she urged the government to increase their pay offer to NHS workers.

The Sky News presenter told Robert Jenrick “a nurse if for life not just for Covid” as it was confirmed inflation his 10.5% last month - down from 10.7% in November.

Nurses are striking once again today and also announced earlier this week that they are to hold two more days of industrial action next month in their long-running dispute over pay.

Jenrick, the immigration minister, said “international factors are beginning to tentatively work in the right direction” to bring inflation down from its peak last autumn.

He added: “The worst thing that we could do domestically would be to significantly increase public sector pay and then entrench inflation in the British economy and get into a wage spiral.”

But Burley told him: “To that end you can take on the rail unions, you can take on the civil servants’ unions, but when it comes to taking on the nurses, you don’t have the support of the British people.

“I’ve seen the banners that say ‘a nurse is for life, not just for Covid’.”

Jenrick replied: “Well, we have great respect for nurses, of course we do.”

But Burley hit back: “Well give them more money then.”

The minister went on: “It’s not always as simple as that in life Kay, because what we have to judge is not only how we motivate and respect nurses - and there is a serious challenge with retention and recruitment within the NHS.

“We have to balance that, however, with general affordability to the tax payer, what can the NHS afford. Secondly, the point about inflation, which is so critical to everybody in this country, and thirdly how can we handle this in a sensible and appropriate manner.

“The way that’s done is through independent pay review bodies, and there was an independent pay review last year which concluded that nurses should get the pay rise that they have.”


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