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More than a million NHS workers
in England are offered a pay rise
of at least 6.5%
over the next three years
It marks the end of tight pay
restrictions on NHS workers imposed
for the past seven years -
the Health Secretary said the deal
recognises that staff have
never worked harder.
The agreement which NHS trade unions
have recommended to the members
today is a something for something
deal which brings in profound
changes in productivity in exchange
for significant rises in pay.
Labour said the pay
rise was long overdue.
We'll be asking whether this marks
the end of the wider cap
on public sector pay.
Also this lunchtime...
The academic at the centre
of the row over the use of personal
Facebook data says he's
been made a scapegoat.
Plastic pollution -
the amount in the ocean is set
to treble in ten years
unless action is taken,
says a major new report.
And nearly 40 years
after the last Papal visit -
Pope Francis is going to
the Republic of Ireland in August.
And coming up in the
sport on BBC News -
Scotland are set a target of 190 94
victory over the West Indies and a
place at next year's Cricket World
Good afternoon and welcome
to the BBC News at One.
More than a million NHS staff
in England, including nurses,
porters and paramedics,
have been offered a pay rise
of at least 6.5% over
the next three years.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
said the pay rise was recognition
that staff have "never worked
harder" but Labour said
it was long overdue.
The plan will be funded
by four billion pounds
of new money from the Treasury.
Wage rises in the NHS have been
capped at 1% since 2013 -
but given the forecasts
for inflation, the real terms
increase over three years from this
deal is expected to be small.
Our political correspondent
Iain Watson reports.
For the past seven years, NHS staff
have had a pay cut or frozen. Health
service unions have argued that the
members are chronically underpaid
and NHS managers have been calling
for wage increases to improve
recruitment and retention and void
staff shortages. The Treasury said
it had found the cash to improve pay
rates without taking it from
elsewhere in the NHS budget.
recognise the NHS is facing unique
pressures. We see an increasing
demand for services. We have set
aside that money in exchange for
making sure that we reform the way
the NHS is working. An agreement is
being reached with the unions which
is really positive.
Most staff have
been offered an average of 6.5% over
the next three years, not covering
doctors and dentists, the least well
off staff would get the highest
percentage increases, up to 29% over
three years. Hospital porters and
cleaners, the lowest NHS pay band,
could see salaries rise from around
£15,000 per year to more than
£18,000 over three years. A £2000
increase in the coming year. Since
lifting the pay gap for the police
and prison officers last autumn, the
government has been under huge
political pressure to do the same
for the NHS staff. This comes at a
price, the Health Secretary has had
to guarantee to the Treasury that
the system of increments, automatic
pay increase, will be reformed and
that the level of sickness among
staff, rather than patients, will
come down. After months of
negotiations, some unions signalled
strong support for the pay offer.
Some NHS staff welcomed it more
I personally will do
quite well out of this offer and
those on the lower banding will do
quite well. But there are some
people who won't do as well. People
I work with. I want everybody to get
a good offer today.
I'm happy. I'm
sure it came too late though.
are sceptical. The GMB union said
that the average increase was below
the predicted rate of inflation and
should be rejected.
Labour asked for
more detail. After eight years of 1%
or a pay cap, the trade unions
appear to be quite happy with the
settlement but we will look at the
Devils the detail and where the
money is going to come from. Let's
see the detail on this one.
Posterity isn't dead or on
life-support but the government
recognises that pay in the NHS has
to recover to attract and keep staff
who do vital work. -- austerity.
In a moment -
we'll speak to our Assistant
Political Editor Norman Smith
who is in Westminster
but first lets talk to our
Health Correspondent Catherine Burns
who is outside the headquarters
of the Unison union
in Central London -
Catherine, how likely is it
this offer will be accepted?
That's the big question. That is
over to NHS staff. It is the start
of the consultation which will go on
until the end of May and report back
in June. That's when we find out
whether they have accepted it. If
they have, they will see the money
in July pay packets backdated to
April. If is a really big question.
The GMB union is not recommending it
to its members. Other unions are
more positive. Some things will be
attractive, progression through pay
grades. A newly qualified at the
moment would take seven years to get
to the top grade, this would change
to four years. The sides admit this
is a compromise and I asked the
union Unison what they have
compromised on and the answer was
money. They would have liked more
money. The employers would like this
to be something that
to be something that the could make
the NHS the most desirable employer.
Norman, does this have wider
significance, does it mark the end
for the public sector cap?
I think it does. To our phrase John
Cleese, it is a dead parrot, it is
no more, it is deceased. The rises
burst through the existing 1% per
year limit, in some cases
spectacularly so. Also because of
the way this is funded. Previously
when police officers and others got
increases above 1%, they had to pay
for it themselves. This increase
will not come from within existing
NHS budgets. It will come from the
Treasury. Initially from Treasury
reserves. That comes with
significant economic consequences
and the bill likely to be around £4
billion, possibly even higher
because you can bet your bottom
dollar the public sector workers
will be thinking, if NHS staff are
getting that sort of money, we want
that sort of money, so there will be
huge pressure on Mr Hammond to hand
over larger sums of money. What it
tells us politically I think is that
not that austerity is over, there is
still plenty out there, but that the
government has made a huge strategic
decision to ease off on austerity.
The reason, a simple calculation
that after eight years of pay
freezes, pay caps, people have
simply had enough.
Thank you. And to
Catherine Burns as well.
Well, following that news,
figures out this morning suggest
the squeeze on household income
may be easing with wages
growing at a rate
just below the rise in prices.
Official statistics showed that
average wages grew by 2.6%
in the three months to January.
They come a day after
figures showing inflation
falling back to 2.7%.
Simon Gompertz reports.
Even if your pay hasn't gone up
much, especially in the public
sector, the average is increasing
faster. That's what's happening at
this London business making beauty
products for people with sensitive
skin, founded by Sarah Brown who has
been raising her staff's wages.
of our biggest pressures is the
tightening in the jobs market which
we are feeling. Wages are going up,
we are a living wage certified
company, we have always paid more
than the national living wage --
minimum wage and we think it is fair
because of the cost of living.
Effectively, the buying power of our
pay has been shrinking but now wages
are rising by 2.6% on average and
are now almost catching up with
prices. And some people are doing
We have made sure that we
have increased the living wage and
the minimum wage and people on the
lowest paid jobs has seen a 7%
increase above the rate of
There has been a rise in
the number of people out of work, of
24,000, but the percentage of the
workforce without a job is down to
4.3%, close to the lowest in years.
Here, they have taken on 16 people
to help with demand, taking the
total to 48. That is matched over
the UK as a whole.
The economy has
been quite resilient in the
aftermath of the referendum and the
labour market is really prove that.
The job market is holding up. If
people start to feel better off,
then we should seek consumer
spending start to firm up across the
economy. That was really a bit of a
weak point in the UK last year.
There have been worrying signs, the
collapse of Crilly, shops and
restaurants laying people off. So
far, help us come from other
countries doing well and buying a
sports. -- buying our exports and
giving a boost to jobs and pay.
An academic who created
an app which harvested data
from 50 million users says
he has been made "a scapegoat"
for Facebook and the consultancy
Dr Aleksandr Kogan said he
had no idea the work he did
for Cambridge Analytica
would be used for Donald Trump's
Facebook says Dr Kogan violated
the site's policies.
Ben Ando reports.
Worldwide it has 2 billion users. If
you are on Facebook and you probably
are, it has information about how
old you are, who you are related to
and how you might vote. If you were
one of 270,000 people who took part
in a bazaar is to test, that app
collected data from you, your
friends, their friends, to 50
million people for a company called
Cambridge Analytica. This is that
company's boss Alexander Nix
boasting two undercover reporters
that they use that data to send
millions of targeted messages during
the US elections that got Donald
Trump into the White House. A claim
that Facebook strongly denies. The
app was created by Cambridge
University academic who designed it
for research, not election rigging.
My view is that I am being used as a
scapegoat by both Facebook and
Cambridge Analytica. We thought we
were acting perfectly appropriately
and doing something that was
Facebook says it's
been outrage about how it's been
deceived but Cambridge Analytica
says it's done nothing wrong, it has
suspended its CEO Alexander Nix and
said it has appointed a senior
lawyer to carry out an
investigation. Analysts say online
political campaigning is here to
Every UK party is campaigning
online, buying adverts, profiling
the voters they want to reach. They
are spending the money they need to
reach them. The nice thing for them,
of these kind of advertising tools,
is that they can go back to people
again and again with the same
messages to get them across.
don't want to join the trend of
deleting Facebook altogether, how do
you keep your data secure?
turn your cookies off, you can make
yourself private, so you data isn't
given to the platforms. There are a
number of steps you can take to be
United States senators
are calling for Mark Zuckerberg to
appear before Congress.
breathtakingly powerful. They know
more about me than me, more about
you than you.
Facebook says that the
controversial app would not be
allowed now. It's believed that a
warrant is being sought to enter the
offices of Cambridge Analytica to
search through their files and data.
The Kremlin has accused the UK
of being unwilling to listen
to Russia's view on the Salisbury
nerve agent attack -
after the British ambassador
decided not to attend
at the Russian Foreign Ministry
to discuss the incident.
Richard Galpin is in Moscow.
Does this mark a stepped-up
diplomatic response by Russia
to the Skripal case?
Yes, I think absolutely. A major
diplomatic offensive by Russia under
way and the meeting taking place
here at the Russian Foreign Ministry
is a big part of that. About an hour
ago we saw a large number of
ambassadors streaming into the
building to hear the Russian point
of view which is essentially that
Russia had nothing to do with the
poisoning of the scree Powell Noren.
they say there is only two
explanations that Britain is behind
the attack or unable to prevent a
terrorist attack on its soil. The
Kremlin repeating allegations that
it was Britain behind the nerve
agent attack. The British ambassador
has not turned up to this meeting
neither have the American German
ambassadors. That has also brought a
rebuke from the Kremlin on Britain.
They say that although they have
thrown out these accusations, they
are not willing to listen to the
answers. One official saying that
because there is no dialogue between
Moscow and London, this case is at a
dead-end. It does very much feel
like the two sides are at
loggerheads and it's not clear where
it can go from from here.
The suspect in a wave
of bombings in the Texas
state capital Austin has died
after he detonated a device
while being chased by police.
Two people were killed by parcel
bombs, after six separate attacks
in the city this month.
Gary O'Donoghue reports from Austin.
Police closed in on the suspected
bomber in the early hours.
Tracking him down to
a hotel north of Austin.
While they waited for extra back-up,
he drove off and then pulled
into a ditch at the side
of the road.
As the police approached his car,
he set off a bomb.
As members of the Austin Police
Department SWAT team
approached the vehicle,
the suspect detonated
a bomb inside the vehicle.
Knocking one of our SWAT officers
back and one of our SWAT officers
fired at the suspect as well.
The suspect is deceased and has
significant injuries from a blast
that occurred from detonating a bomb
inside his vehicle.
CCTV in the past couple of days
appears to show the man police
believe was the suspected bomber
dropping off a package
at a FedEx office.
Police have not named him, they say
he is a 24-year-old white man.
Since the beginning of the month
there have been six separate bombs,
five of which have exploded.
Two men have died and half
a dozen people have
suffered serious injuries.
A number are still in hospital.
Police still do not know the motive
for this bombing spree that
has terrorised Austin
for the past three weeks.
They are also telling the public
they do not know where the suspect
has been for the past 24 hours.
So there could still
be devices out there.
Gary O'Donoghue, BBC
News, Austin, Texas.
Our top story this lunchtime.
More than a million NHS workers
in England are offered a pay
rise of around 6% over
the next three years.
Coming up - in need of a family -
the campaign to place more Muslim
children with a Muslim household.
Coming up in the sport,
jockey Ruby Walsh is ruled out
of next month's Grand National
at Aintree following
his fall at Cheltenham last week.
The amount of plastic
in the ocean is set to treble
within a decade unless action
is taken, a government
report has warned.
The Foresight Future of the Sea
study also highlights the threats
of rising sea levels
and warming oceans.
But it also predicts positive
opportunities for the UK to use
new technologies to cash
in on the global "ocean economy."
Here's our Environment
Analyst Roger Harrabin.
The world is waking up to the menace
of plastic in the oceans.
The report says the best solution
is to stop it getting
to the sea in the first place.
In the longer term better
biodegradable plastics could help.
Plastic waste in the ocean
is expected to triple
by 2025 the report says.
And that is not all.
We are also having
pollutions from farms,
pesticides and fertilisers.
From industry, even
The report says all these together
are combined to make a mighty
problem for the oceans.
But how did things get so bad?
The report's authors say
it is a question of out
of sight, out of mind.
Only 0.05% of the open ocean
is properly explored.
They say that must change.
We have explored the planet,
we have mapped Venus,
Mars and the Moon but we have not
mapped our own sea floor.
It really is time to
have a mission to planet Ocean.
And here is why.
The seas are industrialising fast.
The report predicts a doubling
of economic activity in the ocean
with offshore wind leading the way.
Deep sea mining is also set to boom.
The report's authors warned that
laws to protect the open ocean
are at risk of lagging behind firms
wanting to exploit it.
There is a continuous process
of wanting to look for new things
we can exploit in the oceans.
And commerce is out there looking
for these things, it is exploring
and that is happening faster
than we as scientists can
really keep up with it.
And my suspicion is the legislation
is also trying to keep
up with it as well.
This is the sort of thing at risk,
the extraordinary natural CO2 events
that I dived to visit in Papua.
But even if we ban mining on sites
like this the corals that live
here will still face
other man-made threats.
Carbon levels cause two things,
rising sea surface temperature
which stresses corals out and can
cause large areas of them to die.
And it also makes the water more
acidic and that slows down
the growth rate of corals.
So many threats to our precious
oceans, so much opportunity.
Can mankind strike a balance?
Roger Harrabin, BBC News.
An error in calculating
the main sickness benefit -
Employment and Support Allowance -
could cost the government more
than £800 million.
The National Audit Office says
the mistakes in how the government
applied changes have been known
about since 2013 -
but that ministers only started
to address the issue last year.
Michael Buchanan reports.
Lucy Marsh lives at
home with her parents.
The 28-year-old has learning
disabilities and though
she does voluntary work,
she relies on benefits
for any income.
When she was moved from incapacity
benefit to Employment
and Support Allowance in 2013,
what she was due.
She has now been repaid
thousands of pounds.
Just in time for her to move
in to her first home.
What it means is that in monetary
terms, it is a payment
of just short of £2000.
Which obviously would be very useful
to Lucy in the context
of her moving into this
new supported accommodation.
It will help quite substantially
with the furnishings
and things for the new flat.
Many other claimants will get much
more money says today's report.
The average repayment
will be £5,000 per head.
Though some could get
as much as £20,000.
In total 70,000 people are due
a backdated payment.
The whole debacle could cost
the Department for Work and Pensions
as much as £830 million.
With repayments and
higher benefit awards.
Ministers say they are committed
to correcting the mistakes
and are aiming to repay everyone
affected by April of next year.
But while the errors started
in 2011 they'll only
backdate payments to 2014.
Claiming a court ruling
Welfare advisers are not impressed.
They were well aware
of the legislation before,
they had it in their own guidance.
They just failed to follow that.
And as a result some of the most
severely disabled people have lost
out on thousands of pounds
they will never get back.
For Lucy the repayment
will help as she moves on.
For other claimants who have been
underpaid for years,
their reduced budgets have
meant real hardships.
Michael Buchanan, BBC News.
A man has been
stabbed to death at
a shopping centre in east London.
The man who was believed
to be in his early 20s
was pronounced dead at the Stratford
Shopping Centre last night.
It brings the number
of fatal stabbings
in the capital this year to 26.
At least 29 people have been killed
in a suicide bombing
in the Afghan capital,
The bomber was apparently heading
towards a well-known shrine
where a large crowd had gathered
to mark the start of
the traditional New Year.
The Islamic State group said it
carried out the attack.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has
said the Church of England needs
new powers to protect
children from abuse.
Giving evidence at the Independent
Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse,
Justin Welby said church's powers
around safeguarding "probably
needed re-looking at".
Well our Religion Editor Martin
Bashir is at the inquiry.
Tell us more about what he had to
This is the third week of focus
on the Anglican Church and the
dioceses of Chichester in
particular. It was chosen because of
the large number of default priest
who have been since the 1980s. The
Archbishop of Canterbury who has
been nursing a heavy cold, arrived
surrounded by a couple of bishops,
his head of communications and legal
counsel. He gave evidence about
11:15am and one of the most striking
moments was when he described the
experience of confronting survivors
To read the transcripts,
to meet survivors is horrifying to a
huge degree because you see this
extraordinary and atrocious
willingness to turn a blind eye. Two
things going very seriously wrong.
And entirely damaging human beings.
The enquiry is currently on a break
for lunch. The Archbishop has been
told he will be expected to give
another 30 minutes of evidence
inside following that, the head
Bishop of safeguarding, the lead in
the Church of England, Peter
Hancock, will then give evidence.
Muslim families in the UK
are being encouraged to come forward
to adopt and foster Muslim children.
Around 4,000 Muslim
children are in care
and the number is growing.
More than half of them are spending
time living in non-Muslim homes,
which experts say can cause
religious and cultural problems.
The BBC Asian Network's
Shabnam Mahmood has more.
Providing a much-needed home
for children who don't have one.
Sha and Shaheen Ali have been
fostering for over nine years.
Like them, most of the children
they have looked after are Muslims.
They can associate with
the culture and the identity.
They can feel comfortable
that they are getting halal food.
That they can be supported
with their Islamic
education and knowledge.
To have an environment
where they can pray.
They can interact with the family
and community during
festivals like Ramadan.
Issues like having halal food,
having an alcohol free house.
Even if they are not drinking,
some of them still feel uneasy
that the presence is there.
The importance of matching
children to the right
families is all too clear.
It is so important, the needs
of the child are really
central to the process.
If you have a Muslim child come
into care the vast array
of their needs be it the Muslim
faith, education, health,
it is so important they find a best
match for the foster carer to look
after that child.
Figures given to the BBC say
there are around 4500
Muslim children in care
and the number is growing.
More than half of them spent time
living in non- Muslim homes.
It is accepted by many that more
needs to be done to attract Muslim
carers to meet this demand.
The charity has identified
for the shortage of Muslim carers.
Their new guidelines are clear
about the Islamic position
on fostering and adoption.
We found the scholars agreed
that it can be obligatory
from an Islamic perspective to adopt
and foster given the dire need
of Muslim families to foster
and adopt in the UK.
With the number of Muslim
children in care increasing,
more families are needed so young
ones can be placed
in familiar religious
and cultural environments.
Shabnam Mahmood, BBC News.
Pope Francis has announced
he will visit Ireland in August -
the first papal visit to the country
for almost 40 years.
The pontiff's visit will
include celebrating mass
in Dublin's Phoenix Park.
Our Ireland Correspondent
Chris Page reports.
The official announcement of a much
anticipated papal visit. Irish
families were in Rome to hear Pope
Francis confirmed he was going to
their country as was lush Bishop of
Dublin. It is almost four years
since the last time a pub went to
On a hillside nearly 300
In 1979 John Paul II drew
massive crowds on a tour which
featured some iconic moments for
Young people of Ireland,
I love you.
It was such a sense of
excitement and talking about it now
I can see the helicopter coming up
ahead and then I suppose is a large
group of young people to be affirmed
by the Pope with those beautiful
Father Martin McGill was
amongst the throng 39 years ago and
has been reflecting on what the
event this year might mean.
has happened in 30 years, a sense of
maybe having to face up to a past
which at times we did not want to
do. But if we are going to get any
healing and experience any sense of
truth, we need to do that.
repetition of the Church has been
damaged by scandals about child sex
abuse. And it has been major social
change like the legalisation of
same-sex marriage in the Irish
Republic after a referendum in 2015.
The influence of the Catholic Church
in Ireland North and south has
diminished in recent years. But
churchgoing remains more popular
than in most other parts of Europe.
In west Belfast today parishioners
were delighted about the plans.
Absolutely fantastic, if there was
more people like him it would be a
better world to live in. I'm sure
everyone will turn out and welcome
them with open arms.
will visit Dublin in late August for
two days. So far no news as to
whether he will travel north of the
Irish border. If he does it would be
the first ever able visit to
Time for a look at the weather...
Get quite cold night and something
tells me we are not quite done with
winter yet as we had towards Easter,
it could turn cold again. For the
short term we have white fine
weather around across most of the
UK. The weather systems are out in
the Atlantic lining up and heading
in our direction. And with that
comes a bit of mild air but not
desperately mild but temperatures
still below par for the time of
year. But a lot better than third to
just a few days ago. So today bright
weather across England and Wales,
some rain around in the north-west.
That continues into this evening.
Maybe some showers for the Eastern
counties of England but on the whole
a dry evening and look how much
milder it is going to be this coming
night. Five, six, 7 degrees. So
tomorrow morning is going to feel a
lot different dub in fact when the
sunshine is out it will feel very
pleasant indeed. A fine start to the
day but once again all that cloud
moving in, this next weather front
approaching on Thursday afternoon.
Still 10 degrees in Belfast in spite
of that. And easily around 12
degrees across the South where the
sun comes out. The big picture, the
jet stream is powerful across the
Atlantic. And what we will see in
the next few days is low-pressure
riding the jet stream heading in our
direction. Most of the brain and
breeze will go across Scotland and
Northern Ireland, maybe even some
sleet and snow across the hills. But
to the South bright weather with
just a few showers. And that takes
us into the weekend, looking a
little bit mixed. Not guaranteeing
dry weather but we do expect a fair
bit of bright weather around. It is
going to be a bit cooler, just a
suggestion of the wind coming from
the north-west. Just about double
figures across southern areas. So to
summarise the weekend, not bad at
all. Mostly bright with just a bit
of rain from time to time.
all. Mostly bright with just a bit
of rain from time to time.
A reminder of our main
story this lunchtime...
More than a million NHS workers
in England are offered a pay rise
rise of around 6% over
the next three years.
The agreement which energised trade
unions have recommended for the
members is something for something
deal which brings in profound change
in productivity in exchange for
significant rises in pay.
That's all from
the BBC News at One -