RISHI Sunak settled the teacher wages row yesterday and told militant doctors to accept their final offer, warning: “There will be no more talks on pay.”
The PM settled the teacher wages row and told militant doctors to accept their final offerGetty
He said it would not be fair to sting hard-pressed taxpayers for more cash — and borrowing more was not on as it fuelled inflation.
Instead, £1billion will come from raising the fee immigrants pay to use the NHS to £1,035, along with increasing visa fees for overseas workers and students.
Another £1billion will come from making efficiencies and changing priorities of departmental budgets.
No10 said frontline services would not be hit.
Mr Sunak, who with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt signed off on accepting the independent pay review board recommendations yesterday, said: “There will be no more talks on pay.
“We will not negotiate again on this year’s settlements.
“And no amount of strikes will change our decision.
“The settlement we’ve reached today gives us a fair way to end the strikes.”
No10 was boosted when four leading teaching unions said they were prepared to call off future strikes and recommend the 6.5 per cent pay offer to their members.
Dr Mary Bousted, the National Education Union’s joint secretary, said: “Members have secured the biggest pay award that teachers have received since 2000.
“It is their solidarity and industrial action which has moved this government.”
However, junior doctors, whose five-day walkout ends next Tuesday, and hospital consultants, who will down tools for two days next week, were dismissive of the pay offer.
Prof Phil Banfield, of the British Medical Association, said his members will keep fighting for a 35 per cent increase.
He warned of a “very high” chance of more strike action.
Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association president Dr Naru Narayanan said Mr Sunak’s “like-it-or-lump-it” approach to pay talks would not go down well.
He added: “It betrays a level of immaturity at the heart of government.”