The authorities wants to search out £4bn in spare money to fund NHS pay rises, with a few of it coming from “areas of underspend”.
The one-off cost provided to frontline employees on Thursday will value £2.7bn, Downing Street has mentioned, whereas the 5% pay rise will value £1.3bn.
A 3.5% pay improve had already been factored into the prevailing finances earlier than a brand new deal was put to well being unions, leaving ministers scrambling to search out the remainder.
Asked the place the cash will come from, the PM’s spokesperson mentioned “areas of underspending” had been recognized.
They didn’t go into specifics however added “we will discuss with Treasury and work together to resolve any new funding needs”.
Pressed on the supply of the funding once more, they mentioned the cash is “not coming from patient-facing services”.
Ministers beforehand mentioned they can not afford to provide placing NHS employees a pay rise as a result of the cash must be taken out of the prevailing NHS finances – which was not thought-about an choice at a time of record-high ready lists.
But there was a serious breakthrough on Thursday as the federal government and unions reached a brand new deal that might herald the top of commercial motion throughout many of the well being service.
The provide consists of a one-off cost of two% of their wage plus a COVID restoration bonus of 4% for the present monetary 12 months 2022/23, and a 5% pay improve for 2023/24.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay mentioned it would apply to 1000’s of key employees together with nurses, paramedics and midwives however couldn’t say how the rise can be funded.
When questioned on this he deferred to the Treasury, saying solely that it “would not come from areas of the budget that impact on patients”.
The prime minister gave the same reply when pressed throughout a go to to a south London hospital on whether or not affected person care can be hit, saying: “Absolutely not. We’re going to be making sure we protect all frontline services with £14bn of more funding we announced at the end of last year.”
Most unions have beneficial members vote for the pay rise, and have agreed to pause industrial motion throughout that course of.
Only Unite mentioned it couldn’t suggest the deal to its membership however mentioned a vote would finally determine the union’s place on the provide.
Tens of 1000’s of nurses, paramedics and different healthcare workers went on strike simply earlier than Christmas, then once more in January and February, resulting in the cancellation of round 140,000 appointments and operations.
Labour criticised the federal government for delays in getting across the negotiating desk, with shadow well being secretary Wes Streeting branding his authorities counterpart “lastminute.com Steve Barclay”.
Speaking to Sky News, he accused the well being secretary of “having cheek” by deferring questions on how the pay rise will likely be funded to the Treasury, including: “Newsflash Steve Barclay, the budget was yesterday.
“If he pulled his finger out earlier than Christmas and negotiated a deal, not solely would we have now prevented the strike motion and the 140,000 cancelled operations and appointments, he might need bought a greater deal for the NHS.”
The breakthrough has sparked hopes of resolving other long-running industrial disputes, with the government and education unions beginning “intensive” talks today on pay and conditions.
Asked whether an offer to teachers could look similar to the NHS deal, the PM’s spokesperson stressed that each pay offer is “distinctive”, and the two-pronged agreement is “particular to the work NHS workers have carried out”.
Asked if that recognition will apply to junior doctors, who are embroiled in a separate dispute, the spokesperson said: “We need talks to begin as quickly as attainable nevertheless it’s depending on them cancelling or pausing strikes. As quickly as they pause strike motion we are able to have talks.”