Labour blamed for Exeter health service wage cuts
HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt says it was Labour that paved the way for moves to cut the wages of health service staff in Exeter.
Mr Hunt took to task his opposite number Andy Burnham, who has criticised controversial proposals by 20 NHS trusts across the South West, to impose longer working hours for staff, and cuts to salary and leave.
The Conservative Secretary of State said Mr Burnham had been in charge when the powers, allowing such changes, got the go-ahead.
But now in opposition, Mr Hunt said the Labour politician now "sings a different tune".
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It was among a string of Labour 'inconsistencies' Mr Hunt highlighted during his speech to the Tory Party conference in Birmingham.
He also gave a highly-personal defence of the Conservatives' attitude to the NHS, and told Tory activists Labour's claim to the health service was insulting.
Mr Burnham recently vowed to defend national pay in the NHS "to the hilt", and attacked Mr Hunt for remaining silent on the proposals in the South West.
The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Devon Partnership NHS Trust are among those signed up to the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium, which has been branded a 'cartel' by critics.
Mr Hunt said Labour had backed NHS reform when in government, adding: "But now he's in opposition, Andy Burnham sings a different tune."