Scotland’s nurses have seen a real terms pay cut of £3,400 under the SNP, Labour can reveal.

Visiting the Royal College of Nurses today, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and health spokesperson Anas Sarwar will reveal the analysis showing how the average nurse is worse off as a result of the SNP pay cap on NHS staff.

Analysis from the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows pay at the starting point of Band 5 has increased by 6% over the period April 2010 – April 2017.  Over the same period, prices (as measured by the retail price index – RPI) have increased by 22%. This means that Band 5 starting point pay has fallen by 13% in real terms over the period.

UK Labour has committed to scrapping the one per cent pay cap – and Scottish Labour will challenge the SNP to meet that pledge in a Holyrood vote on Wednesday.

Previous research from Labour revealed that the number of long-term unfilled nursing posts in our NHS has increased by more than 300 per cent under the SNP, leaving Scotland’s NHS staff overworked and under increasing pressure.

The choice in this election is now clear: Labour MPs who will stand up for working people or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will say:

“Our NHS staff are the foundation of our health service, but they aren’t getting the support and they resources they need from the SNP government.

In fact, nurses in our health service have faced on average a real terms cut of £3,400 as a result of the Nationalist pay cap.

The first step in delivering an NHS that delivers the care Scots needs is to give staff the pay they deserve. Labour would scrap the 1 per cent pay cap to give our NHS staff the pay increase they deserve.

The choice in this election is clear – Labour MPs who will fight for better wages and a stronger NHS, or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum that Scotland doesn’t want.”

RCN Director Theresa Fyffe will add:

“Budget savings achieved through pay restraint are being used to meet efficiency-saving targets for the NHS. The result is that NHS staff pay has fallen way behind the cost of living and many nursing staff are now struggling to survive on their pay packet.

Nursing staff are facing mounting challenges – dealing with an unprecedented increase in demand and patients with increasingly complex needs – as well as chronic staff shortages and intensified workloads.

The situation is unsustainable. The RCN is calling on politicians from all parties to show that they value nursing staff by ending the 1% pay cap and paying them a fair wage.”