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Shadow chancellor: ‘Pay deal was forced by unions’ campaign’

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has claimed that the NHS cannot wait until the 2018 Budget to receive the ‘life-saving’ funds it needs, adding that the forthcoming pay deal for Agenda for Change staff was ‘forced’ upon Chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of time by the campaigning of the unions.

Responding to Mr Hammond’s spring statement, Mr McDonnell also addressed reports that the new pay deal will see a day’s holiday taken away from staff, describing the move as ‘mean spirited’ and asking whether Mr Hammond would ‘drop this miserly act’.

Earlier in Parliament, Mr Hammond delivered a spring statement that reiterated his desire to see ‘pay modernisation’ within the NHS.

He said: ‘£4bn will go into the NHS in 2018/19 alone, and as I promised in the Autumn Budget, there is more to come if, as I hope, the unions and NHS management agree to a pay modernisation deal’.