Taskforce reviews doctors’ pay to combat regional shortages

Hospital
doctors working in London, the South East and other high-cost regions could
receive thousands of pounds in extra pay as part of Government efforts to
tackle recruitment problems.

A
special Treasury taskforce headed by Minister for Work Nick Brown, is drawing
up proposals which would allow the Government to boost public service
employees’ salaries to take account of high house prices and better rates of
pay in the private sector.

The
move could see a substantial increase in the annual allowance to non-residential
staff of £1,914 – due to rise to £1,983 from 1 April – paid to doctors working
in London.

The
allowance could also be extended to a wider area around London, including the
Home Counties, as well as perhaps the Thames Valley, Cheshire and Manchester.

The
taskforce is due to report soon to Chief Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Smith
to allow him to make a decision ahead of publication in the summer of the
comprehensive spending review, which will set out Government spending plans for
the next three years.

By Ben Willmott

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