On Friday morning, the Health Secretary appeared on BBC News and ‘refused’ to say whether he had fought for NHS workers to get a pay rise.
It has been suggested that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, may be implementing a pay freeze across public sector areas, which include key workers, police, armed forces personnel, teachers and civil servants.
When questioned, Matt Hancock did not answer as to whether he had fought for nurses not to receive a pay freeze, following controversy over the Government’s decision to increase the pay of doctors, dentists, armed forces personnel and teachers, but not nurses.
The BBC’s Naga Munchetty asked the Secretary of State whether or not he “fought his corner” for nurses, to which he responded: “I always fight for the NHS. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will be setting out the details next Wednesday.
“I am not going to go into internal discussions, but you know how much I value NHS workers.”
Following the interview on the BBC Breakfast show, Hancock took to Twitter. He uploaded a thirty-second clip of his appearance, with the caption: “To everyone who works in the NHS, I want to say thank you for the work that you’re doing.”
To everybody who works in the NHS, I want to say thank you for the work that you’re doing. pic.twitter.com/U39ZIZSRqJ
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) November 20, 2020
A disgruntled nurse said: “Nurses have worked throughout the pandemic, working longer hours (which are generally unpaid) and under the most horrendous working conditions.
“It is astonishing to think that the Government may not give them a pay rise, when others in the public sector have received one already.
“We are proud to work for the NHS and have worked tirelessly during the pandemic … a pay rise is a small recognition of this”.
In response to Matt Hancock’s tweet following the interview, she added: “It’s meaningless. I’d like to think it was given with sincerity.”