I firmly believe that the professionalism and dedication of our NHS staff should be fairly rewarded and I am delighted that the Government has confirmed that it will be moving away from the 1 per cent public sector pay policy, towards a more flexible approach on pay.
We do, however, still need to deal with our country's debts in order to ensure we have a strong economy which enables us to invest in our public services. Such an approach means that the Government can only consider specific workforces on an individual basis to ensure pay is set at a level which ensures that the public sector can continue to both attract and hold on to the excellent staff that support our world-leading public services.
However, thanks to the actions that have been taken to get the public finances back into shape, the Government can now apply greater flexibility to public sector pay. I am confident that Ministers will continue to ensure that the overall package for public sector workers recognises the vital contribution of nurses to the NHS and thus will ensure that they can continue to deliver world class care, while also being affordable and fair to taxpayers as a whole.
I hope you are reassured that both I and the Government are committed to lifting the pay cap for all of our hardworking public servants as soon as it is possible to do so and I agree with you that it is important that nursing staff are valued. The Independent Pay Review Bodies will next report in spring 2018, at which point the Government will consider their recommendations and announce whether there are any further change to public sector pay.