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NHS pay rise may have to come from existing budget, says minister

Oliver Dowden says it ‘won’t be easy’ to fund estimated £1.5bn offer for nurses and ambulance staff

A breakthrough pay rise offer for nurses and ambulance workers may have to be funded within the existing NHS budget, a senior cabinet minister has admitted.

Footing the bill – estimated to be about £1.5bn – “won’t be easy”, according to Oliver Dowden, the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster.

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