Last week the public sector cap of was lifted by the Government, a move I have welcomed.
We all want to see key workers receive better pay and there is now a good argument for lifting the cap on pay to give people the recognition they deserve.
Last week I met many of our dedicated health workers when I visited Darent Valley Hospital alongside the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. It is always interesting to meet people who are at the front line of health services in Dartford and see first-hand the difference they are making to so many people’s lives.
We are fortunate in Dartford to have a hospital that is arguably one of the best in the country, so I was delighted that Mr Hunt had the chance to visit and meet many of the staff responsible for making it successful. Although the number of doctors at Darent Valley has increased since 2010 by 87 and the number of nurses by 284, the number of operations carried out by the hospital has nearly doubled in that time and so the workload for the staff remains very high.
I am pleased health workers will be amongst those in line for a pay rise now the cap has been relaxed but it is also the case that people want us to live within our means and to tackle the deficit we inherited so we need to strike the right balance.
I agree that the time has come for the pay cap to be relaxed and for higher pay rises to be given to public sector workers but clearly, any rise needs to be affordable.