Jeremy Hunt made the announcement in the House of Commons at Health Questions, saying: “We recognise that it wasn’t sustainable to carry on with the 1% pay cap… that’s why next year we’ve been given the leeway to have more flexible negotiations.”
In response to a follow-up question he was more explicit, saying: “The pay cap has been scrapped."
The news follows months of campaigning by RCN members, who’ve been going to rallies and protests up and down the country, writing to their MPs, getting members of the public behind the campaign and sharing stories of how the cap has affected them personally.
Last month, thousands of members and supporters converged on Parliament Square in London to demand the end of the cap, and now their voices have been heard.
RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies said the Health Secretary had listened to the tens of thousands of nursing staff.
“Jeremy Hunt has put beyond all doubt that the pay cap is scrapped after a summer-long campaign by the RCN,” she said.
“Our members in every corner of the UK fought hard and can be proud of this achievement.”
“The cap held pay below inflation and gave nurses year-on-year pay cuts. With a staffing crisis building, the Government is right to lift it.”
But she also warned scrapping the cap alone would not be enough.
“The next pay offer must not come in below inflation and ministers cannot ask the NHS to make other cuts to pay for it – services must be given extra funding to cover the cost,” she added.