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NHS workers being treated ‘like dirt’, says Lib Dem leader

The Lib Dems have pledged to ease the pressure on struggling workers by scrapping the existing public sector pay cap.

NHS workers are being treated “like dirt” by the Government, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron is claiming.

Mr Farron is telling a Royal College of Nursing conference in Liverpool that the Lib Dems will give the health service the funding it needs.

He is saying: “Nurses have been treated like pawns by the Tories for far too long. Longer hours, more stress and more pressure put on the NHS

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“The Conservatives are treating staff like dirt. Theresa May doesn’t seem to care that the system is underfunded and heading towards collapse. This is why the Liberal Democrats have pledged £6 billion in funding, per year, for our NHS.”

The comments come as the Lib Dems said nurses and teachers could be in line for an average £780 pay rise if the party gains power.

The Lib Dems have pledged to ease the pressure on struggling workers by scrapping the existing public sector pay cap, which limits pay rises for workers to 1% per year until 2020.

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(Barry Batchelor/PA)

Under new plans to be unveiled in their forthcoming manifesto, the Lib Dems said the end of pay restraint would result in an average pay rise of £779 for staff.

Former business secretary Sir Vince Cable, who is standing in Twickenham, said: “Public sector workers are facing a double blow at the hands of this Conservative government, with years of pitiful increases to pay combined with a Brexit squeeze caused by soaring inflation.

“Our NHS and schools are already struggling to recruit the staff they need. Living standards are falling, prices are rising and nurses are going to food banks, but Theresa May doesn’t care.

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(Jonathan Brady/PA )

“A better future is available. We will stand up for our schools and hospitals and give hard-working nurses, teachers and police the pay rise they deserve.”

Analysis by the party found a new nurse will be £530 a year worse off by 2021 if the cap remains, thanks to rising inflation, while a primary school teacher would lose £550 and an army sergeant £830.

Labour also hinted at bringing an end to the pay cap in their leaked manifesto last week.

A Tory spokesman said: “A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn to wreck our finances, risk our economic recovery and destroy the wages of ordinary working families across the country. The only way to deliver a strong economy which pays for strong public services is by backing Theresa May and her Conservative team.”

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