Neville calls for government protest after "disgusting" 1% NHS pay rise proposal

Gary Neville has blasted the government over their proposal to give NHS staff only a measly 1% pay rise.

There has been a big backlash following the announcement on Thursday, with many feeling health workers deserve much more following a hugely difficult year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Data shows nurses have a "statistically higher" death rate than the wider population.

And official data shows at least 414 healthcare workers – including doctors, nurses and midwives, nurse assistants, paramedics and ambulance staff, and hospital porters – died from the virus last year.

Unions are considering strike action after the "kick-in-the-teeth" pay announcement which has sparked a huge outcry.

Neville took to social media on Friday night to express his dismay at the government's plans.

And he has urged people to take to streets on June 21 to make their feelings clear – the same day in which all lockdown measures could be lifted in England.

Neville tweeted: "1%. June 21st we should all protest in our cities against this brutal and disgusting action! RT for yes and let’s get a campaign to change it !"

Defending the government's decision, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I bow to nobody in my admiration for nurses. I learned that at the knee of my grandmother, who was a nurse and worked nights at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.

"The challenge is that the nation's finances are tight and whilst everybody else in the public sector is going to have a pay freeze, we are able to propose a pay rise for nurses at 1%.

"I entirely appreciate that that reflects the difficult financial circumstance that the country is in."

Neville, meanwhile, has regularly criticised the Tory government's handing of the coronavirus crisis in the past.

He said in December: "They're out of their depth. The countries who've dealt with this really well they've had definite and sure leaders."

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