Magazine article Public Finance

DoH Defends Call to Cap Doctors' Pay Rises

Magazine article Public Finance

DoH Defends Call to Cap Doctors' Pay Rises

Article excerpt

The Department of Health has dismissed doctors' protests over government attempts to limit their wage rises to 1%.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt wrote to the doctors' and dentists' pay review body in December, asking it to cap most doctors' pay rises at 1%.

This week British Medical Association chair Jim Johnson met the head of the body to complain that Hewitt's intervention, together with a letter from Chancellor Gordon Brown asking for the rises to be based on his 2% inflation target, could compromise its objectivity.

The department had submitted evidence to the DDRB in September calling for a 2.5% ceiling on pay rises, but warned in supplementary evidence that it was reviewing the affordability of such a rise.

Hewitt's letter claimed that even if the DDRB awarded no pay rise this year, NHS staff earnings would grow by 3.6% because of factors such as annual increments. A 2.5% award would push earnings growth over 6%. …

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