Liam Gallagher says give NHS staff ‘pay rise you w****rs’ as celebrities back nurses over wage row

Jimmy Nsubuga
·4 min read
Liam Gallagher has backed nurses over a pay row with the government. (Getty)
Liam Gallagher has backed nurses over a pay row with the government. (Getty)

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher has backed nurses after anger grew over the government’s recommendation of a 1% pay rise for NHS workers.

The singer was among several celebrities who showed support for health workers after their 1% wage increase was revealed on Thursday.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) decided to set up a £35 million industrial action fund in response to the decision.

Unite, which represents tens of thousands of NHS workers, is also a warning of industrial action.

On Saturday, Gallagher tweeted: “Give the NHS and care workers a proper pay rise you w***ers LG x.”

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Actor Hugh Laurie added on Friday: “No no no. A 1% pay rise for nurses will not do.”

Actor Colin McFarlane tweeted in response to a health worker: “You are on the front line helping to keep us all safe & risking your lives… There should be no need to debate this.

“1% #nhspayrise is totally insulting to all in the @NHSuk I hope the court of public opinion will force a government U turn. Unlikely but [prayer hands emoji].”

TV presenter Amanda Holden labelled the proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff as an “absolute travesty”.

The government sparked fresh anger on Friday when it defended its submission to the NHS Pay Review Body on Thursday for salaries to be pegged at 1%.

Health minister Nadine Dorries said the government could not afford to give NHS staff in England a pay rise of more than 1%, following the revelation the figure had been submitted to the sector’s pay review body (PRB).

She gave a series of media interviews on Friday defending the position, saying nurses have received a 12% increase in pay over the last three years and the average nurse’s salary is around £34,000.

Health secretary Matt Hancock also backed the pay rise at a Downing Street briefing, adding: “The challenge is that the nation's finances are tight and whilst everyone else is going to get a pay freeze we are able to propose a pay rise for nurses of 1%.”

Watch: Matt Hancock says 1% pay rise for staff is based on 'affordability'

The RCN decided to set up an industrial action fund amid growing anger over the pay of health staff who have been under unprecedented pressure during the coronavirus crisis.

The union said in a statement: “A strike fund is an amount of money that can be used to support workers, who are members of a trade union, to provide some compensation for loss of earnings and campaigning during industrial action.”

Unions representing workers ranging from nurses and doctors to porters and ambulance crews are angry at the suggestion of a below-inflation pay rise, which the review body will consider in May.

Mel, a staff nurse, said the proposed 1% pay rise is an “insult” and “hypocrisy in its greatest form”.

She said the increase for her would equate to an extra £3.50 a week.

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A nurse holds a placard as they demonstrate in front of BBC Broadcasting House in London, Britain, 12 September 2020. In July  the government announced a pay rise for public sector workers. But many nurses, health care assistants, porters, and cleaners who worked so hard, despite the risks, have been overlooked in the public sector pay rise. (Photo by Maciek Musialek/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A nurse holds a placard during a demonstration over pay in September. (Getty)
A nurse holds a placard as they demonstrate in front of BBC Broadcasting House in London, Britain, 12 September 2020. In July  the government announced a pay rise for public sector workers. But many nurses, health care assistants, porters, and cleaners who worked so hard, despite the risks, have been overlooked in the public sector pay rise. (Photo by Maciek Musialek/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NHS workers are not happy with the 1% pay rise. (Getty)

Meanwhile, it emerged on Saturday the government had spent £2.6m on a new briefing room for media.

The Cabinet Office defended the spend, telling the BBC it was “in the public interest” and would “increase public accountability and transparency”.

But the Labour party hit out at the decision, with its deputy leader Angela Rayner comparing it with the proposed 1% pay rise for nurses.

She said: “It would take around 100 years for a newly qualified nurse to get paid this kind of money.

"It sums up Boris Johnson's warped priorities that he can find millions for vanity projects, while picking the pockets of NHS workers.

“Our NHS heroes deserve a fair pay rise after all they have done for us."