NHS regional pay plan halt welcomed in South West

An MP in the South West has welcomed an announcement by Chancellor George Osborne that proposals for regional NHS pay will not go ahead.

A consortium of 19 hospitals and health trusts had published proposals about changing pay, terms and conditions to reflect regional levels of pay.

In his Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne said national pay arrangements for the NHS would continue.

Cornish MP Stephen Gilbert said the move was a "victory for people power".

Fair wages 'deserved'

Members of the NHS consortium wanted to bypass the long-established national Agenda for Change agreement and replace it with local pay deals

The consortium's proposals for "an affordable pay, terms and conditions system" is opposed by unions who say it is an excuse to make wage cuts.

Mr Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat MP St Austell and Newquay, said he was against the proposals because he believed "hard-working public sector employees deserve a fair wage for the work they do - no matter where they live".

He said: "The announcement in the Autumn Statement that the government won't be pursuing these devastating plans is a victory for people power and the work that has been done by unions and public sector employees to lobby the government."

Workers will still face below-inflation wage rises, Mr Osborne told MPs.

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