Angry NHS unions suspect Brown's hand in 1.5% offer

Hewitt believed hospitals could afford larger pay rise. A slap in face for dedicated nurses, says RCN. John Carvel, Guardian, October 20, 2006 Nurses' leaders accused the government last night of imposing "a massive pay cut" on all NHS staff when it emerged that ministers want to peg next year's pay rise to 1.5%. Unions believe that the chancellor, Gordon Brown, intervened to reduce the offer that the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, thought hospitals should be able to afford. The chancellor insisted that doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives and other health workers should be held to 1.5% in the annual settlement for 2007/8 - well below the inflation rate of 3.6% in the most recent retail price index. ... Angry