Philip Dunne congratulates the Secretary of State for Health on securing additional funding to be able to give nurses and other NHS workers a pay rise and particularly welcomes the significant uplift on starting salaries.
I add my voice to those congratulating the Secretary of State and his ministerial team on a tremendous achievement in discussions with the Treasury to secure this additional funding. I invite him to comment on the work that has been done by the health unions and the Royal College of Nursing, in particular, in helping to deliver this agreement and particularly to give many of the people on starting salaries a significant uplift, which he referred to earlier. This will make it easier to attract people to the vital starting roles for future generations.
I would like to pay tribute to my hon. Friend because, when he was working in my Department, he laid a lot of foundations for this deal. He chaired some very important meetings. In particular, one of the most important areas of consensus that has emerged, which he should take enormous credit for, is that we are saying today that the minimum salary for anyone working in the NHS will go up by £2,000. That is going to make a huge difference—100,000 people will benefit from that important change—and he should be very proud of that.