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Labour vows return of independence to GP pay review body

A Labour Government would end the 1% pay rise cap for GPs and other public sector professionals ‘as soon as a it gets back in’, shadow health minister Justin Madders has said.

Speaking at a Labour Party Conference fringe event in Brighton, Mr Madders said it was ‘hypocritical’ to restrict the pay increases that independent pay bodies can recommend.

Pay rises in the public sector were frozen between 2011 and 2013 and have since been capped at annual rises of 1%. 

But latest official figures, released this month, showed GP pay fell by more than 1% in 2015/16.

Mr Madders said: ‘I find it incredible that the Government can have independent pay review bodies, and then prescribe how much they can offer, particularly when it comes to an MP’s own pay and there’s no restriction.

‘I find that absolutely hypocritical and I think even some Conservative MPs are deeply uncomfortable with that position.’

Mr Madders said that if there was going to be an independent pay review body ‘it has to be independent’.

He added: ‘And as soon as we get back in we will make sure that they are able to do their job without political interference.

‘Because there are huge challenges on the workforce and pay is a factor for people at the moment, there’s no doubt about that.’