PM can’t pay nurses more due to tax hikes and inflation ‘vicious cycle’ fears

Rishi Sunak has insisted he would “love” to give striking nurses large pay rises, but argued he cannot because he does not want to stoke a “vicious cycle” of inflation or increase taxes. The Prime Minister is under growing pressure to end the wave of public sector strikes, with a fresh round of mass industrial action set to begin on Wednesday. Up to half a million workers including teachers, train drivers and civil servants will start the walkouts before nurses and ambulance workers again walk out next week. But Mr Sunak also faces demands from his Conservative colleagues not to further increase taxes as he tries to hit his target of reducing soaring inflation this year by half. Mr Sunak was asked: “When are you actually going to pay nurses properly?” as he addressed an audience of health workers during a visit to Darlington. “I would love – nothing would give me more pleasure – than to wave a magic wand and have all of you paid lots more,” he said. But he argued it is “not an easy job” to balance many competing interests for Government funding, as he warned against further stoking inflation to bring down bills. “I’ve...

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