A Brighton nurse who became a Tory MP has urged the government to end the public sector pay cap in a speech in the House of Commons.
Maria Caulfield, the Conservative MP for Lewes, called for the pay cap to be lifted not just for nurses but across the public sector.
But the former Brighton and Hove councillor drew on her experience as a nurse as she made her impassioned call for the cap to be lifted.
She said: “As someone who worked as a nurse during the pay cap and pay freeze can I just say how difficult that is as a public sector worker and as a nurse.”
She said that the pay cap was not the only issue at stake, arguing that the pay structure itself was also flawed.
She said: “The issue is about more than just a pay rise. It is about the pay structure.
“Under Labour, when they introduced the ‘Agenda for Change’ system, they created an increment system where actually people were waiting five, six or seven years before they actually get the pay they deserve.”
She said that the pay system was not working in hospital trusts as it offered individual trusts the opportunity to “downgrade people” so that a sister in one hospital might be on a lower pay grade than a sister elsewhere.
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