An Irvine councillor has said the Scottish Government’s promised pay rise to NHS staff will result in cuts to local health services.

Labour Cllr Robert Foster, also NAC’s cabinet member for health and social care, said the pay offer announced for health staff in Scotland will cost NHS Ayrshire and Arran £12.75million in 2018/19 – adding the local health board expect to receive less than half of this from the SNP Government.

Cllr Robert Foster said: “Hardworking NHS staff deserve a fair pay rise after years of pay freezes and pay caps. However, the SNP Government should not be funding the pay deal through more cuts to local health services.

“Funding pay rises through more cuts will only add to more stress and pressure on NHS workers. It is little wonder health workers, who love their job, are leaving the NHS for other employment.

“The SNP Government should be fully funding fair public sector pay deals. It is simply not good enough to pass on Tory Barnett consequentials and leave the rest to be funded through cuts to NHS services. NHS staff and patients deserve better.”

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire said: “I’m sure most folk, like me, will be perplexed by this churlish response from Labour to this good news for NHS workers.

“The SNP Government has offered our hardworking NHS nurses, porters, paramedics and other staff a pay rise of at least nine per cent over the next three years. Some staff will see their wages rise by over 27 per cent thanks to pay progression.

“Every penny of pay consequentials is being passed on to the NHS in full – something Labour sadly never committed to at the last Scottish election.

“Labour’s shame is their funding policy would have seen NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s budget be almost £27 million worse off this year – equivalent to losing over 670 nurses in our area."