Nurses struggle to ‘put food on the table’ after a decade of pay cuts

Nurses will be short by more than £1,450 a month from next April as the cost of living soars.

Nurses are struggling to put food on the table or buy new clothes due to a decade of real pay cuts, new analysis has found.

Analysis by the New Economics Foundation charity think tank shows that nurses will not be able to afford the cost of essentials of more than £1,450 a month from next April.

Using the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), the think tank calculates the standard of living based on need and compares it to salaries in the private and public sectors.

Research shows that MIS will rise by 11.3% per person next year, meaning that a 3% increase in NHS wages is significantly driving up the cost of living.

Can’t afford to practice.

Responding to the news, RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen added: “Nursing staff across the UK are already struggling – and this analysis shows it will go from bad to worse with many nurses unable to afford the cost of essential commodities.

“Nurses have already suffered a decade of pay cuts in real terms, and many simply can no longer afford to practice and are forced out of the profession. And a chronic shortage of nurses – including 47,000 vacant nursing positions in England alone – is putting patients at risk.

“We are more than halfway through our historic strike vote on pay and patient safety, and the new premier must be ready for that outcome in November. Nurses say enough is enough, for themselves and for their patients.

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