UK Government Faces Backlash Over 1% NHS Staff Pay Rise

The government is facing a furious backlash after calling for NHS staff in England to be restricted to a pay rise of just 1%. Ministers defended the proposal at a time when the economy was under "huge pressure" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But health service unions said the proposed award as a "kick in the teeth" for staff who had given "absolutely everything" over the past year to keep the public safe. The Royal College of Nursing, the UK’s largest nursing union, is to set up a £35 million industrial action fund in response to the government’s proposal.