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Public sector pay cap survey September 2017

A survey of the general public for 14 public sector unions about public sector pay.

  • Public backing is strong for the removal of the public sector pay cap for NHS staff, with over four in five (84%) saying they support this move.
  • Three quarters (73%) of British adults think that if the Government make an announcement that they will lift the pay cap in the NHS, they should also increase the funding available for the NHS pay review body to recommend an award higher than 1%, whereas only 10% think they shouldn’t. However, approaching a fifth (17%) are uncertain and say they don’t know.
  • As well as supporting lifting the pay cap, over four in five (83%) British adults support increasing pay for all NHS staff to meet or exceed cost of living.
  • The consensus among around three quarters of British adults is that existing staff leaving the NHS, moving to private work, and young people not choosing NHS careers are each a significant consequence of the low pay in the NHS (77%, 75% and 74% say this respectively).
  • The majority (69%) of British adults support NHS staff being paid £800 to account for the last seven years of pay restraint on top of a pay increase – however it is worth noting that approaching a fifth oppose this (17%).

Date Published: 28th September 2017

Categories: Economy | GB | Health | Policy Makers | Politics | Professionals | Public and communities | Public Sector | Social | UK

Client:  British Association of Dietitians, British Association of Occupational Therapists, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, Managers in Partnership, POA (union for prison, correctional and secure psychiatric workers), Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Society of Radiographers, UNISON and Unite.


Methodology: ComRes interviewed 2,032 adults aged 18+ in Great Britain between 15th and 17th September. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+ by age, gender, region and socio-economic
grade. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

  1. Royal-College-of-Midwives_Pay-Rises_Tables_18-Sep-2017 0.02 MB.

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