A Lib Dem Fact Check

Earlier today the Liberal Democrat Press team tweeted:

This struck me as odd.

The minimum starting salary for a NHS nurse is £21,176 (as of April 2012). Multiply this by 10 (‘a decade of employment’) and you get £211,176. Then multiply this by 60,000 (the number of nurses) and you get £12,705,600,000. That’s £705 million over budget.

Of course, this is worked out assuming all nurses just earn a starting salary. In the same pay band, a nurse could earn up £27,625. Equally, in the London area there is an additional 5-20% pay increase for nurses. Also, this calculation does not cover nurses with any sort of specialism who sit in higher pay brackets.

I don’t know what the average staff salary is in the NHS. If it was around £25,000 (to make my maths easy) then this would leave the Lib Dem claim £3billion over budget.

For £12 billion we could employ 48,000 nurses on an average of £25,000 over 10 years. 12,000 nurses less than they claimed.

Being kind, we will assume they ment to say “entry level nurses” – but even then they seem to have rounded down by £705 million.


Filed under Economics, Health, Politics

3 responses to “A Lib Dem Fact Check

  1. Chris Usher

    Not a nurse but I do work for the NHS. Your estimate of £25k is proably reasonable., possibly a bit low but not by much. Nurses are 50% of the workforce, so their pay dominates, and most of them are on the 2 pay bands that run from 21k to 34k, however, the sums also leave out another minor thing, employers, national insurance and pension costs, this would add around 20% to the cost, and reduce number of nurses by the same amount


  2. Usget

    What’s more amusing is where the Lib Dem press office are getting their facts from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2040259/NHS-IT-project-failure-Labours-12bn-scheme-scrapped.html

    God help us!


  3. Another point they’ve missed is that as a rule of thumb, your cost basis for an employee is about double their salary, to account for heating, lighting, insurance and so forth, so really we’re down to just a Madjeski stadium full of the buggers.


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