Over on his bloggish thing GoForth, he reckons he's got a scoop in reporting that some Tory Health chap wants to cut NHS staff pay.
But no. He's only given an interview saying he would give a blank cheque for NHS pay rises.We've heard for a while that GP's pay has risen by ridiculous amounts over the past few years.
He told the Health Service Journal:"In truth pay determination shouldn’t be set in line with financial allocations, it should be set in line with what is necessary to recruit, retain and motivate the workforce that you require. It’s a fallacy to say the amount of pay for 2012-13 depends on how much money the government has.Realising that's a spending committment the Tories can't keep in their 'Age of Austerity', he then rows back with a 'clarification' that he actually meant any wage increase should be BELOW the rate of the overall increase in NHS funding, saying:“The problem in recent years has been that staff pay has simply increased in line with the huge rises in the NHS budget. In these times of increasing financial pressure we need to ensure that we move to a situation where pay is instead defined by what is necessary to recruit, retain and motivate the staff, and also what is affordable for local healthcare providers. Future NHS allocations will not be able to accommodate inflationary staff costs."Or - to put it simply - the Labour Government gave NHS staff too many pay rises so get ready for real term pay cuts.
So it's official Conservative policy - the Tories will cut NHS pay.
Average family doctor pay in the UK rose by 10% to £110,000 in 12 months, according to latest figures.
The data from the NHS Information Centre is for the year 2005-6 - the second year of the new GP contract.
It comes after pay rose by 20% in the first year and means GPs have seen pay rise by about £30,000 in two years.
Guardian 08-Oct-2008But John Prescott doesn't accept this.
GPs in England gained "eye-watering" pay increases of 58% under a revised NHS contract that reduced their working hours, the Commons public accounts committee said today.
It found the contract, which allowed family doctors to opt out of care outside office hours, cost the Department of Health (DoH) £1.8bn more than expected over the three years to 2006. Partners in GP practices were rewarded with bonuses for meeting performance targets that were designed to give patients a better service. Most practices came close to achieving the maximum bonus points and average pay rose above £100,000 a year.
'They deserved every penny'? 'Deserved'? I wish I were paid how much I deserved, sadly there's never quite enough money in places I've worked.
Whilst This Observer, has a broadly more cost effective take on it than Labour.
The thing that sadly he doesn't see - along with the rest of the Labour party - is that what is being discussed is not a mandatory pay cut, it's a pledge to make salaries competitive and in line with what these people should be getting, whether that be up or down.The NHS employs a lot of staff, whatever they pay becomes the de facto market rate for the health sector, so rather than trying to keep up with what the private sector can afford to pay, they ought to be aiming low, to provide better value for money for the tax payer who have no choice but to pay the bills.
The Tories know that we can't keep throwing money at the public services, more importantly THE PUBLIC know it too. When Labour finally snap out of their little bubble and realise what the rest of the country has known for some weeks now it's probably going to be far, far too late for them.