What the papers say – March 6

A controversial pay offer for NHS staff leads many of the front pages on Saturday.

A collection of British newspapers
A collection of British newspapers

Most of the papers splash with reaction to the Government’s recommendation of a 1% pay rise for NHS workers.

The threat of industrial action by nurses in response to the offer leads the i weekend and the Daily Express, with the latter describing the proposed increase as “pitiful”.

The Independent says NHS Providers have accused the Government of “snatching away” the 2.1% pay rise which was promised prior to the pandemic, which the Daily Mirror describes as “Boris’ slap for carers”.

The Daily Star goes further in its criticism of “short-memoried Bozo” over the move, which the paper says “betrays NHS heroes who saved his life”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended the small increase as “what’s affordable as a nation” due to the economic toll of coronavirus, according to The Guardian.

The Times, meanwhile, quotes the head of the UK’s genomics body as saying new variants of Covid-19 are “very unlikely” to stop the country getting back to normal in the summer.

A permit allowing essential travel only internationally is expected to stop Easter holidays abroad, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The FT Weekend carries the first hard data showing a steep decline in trade activity between the UK and other large EU countries since the hardening of “Brexit barriers” at the start of the year.

And the Daily Mail claims the Prime Minister “persuaded Tory chiefs to secretly pay for Carrie Symonds’s makeover of his official flat”.

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