Government backs down on foundation dentist pay cut

The government is backing down on its proposed £2,000 pay cut for foundation dentists in England, according to the British Dental Association (BDA).

Following a sustained campaign of petitions and lobbying, the BDA recently informed the Department of Health of its intentions to pursue judicial review proceedings. The Department of Health has now confirmed its intention to back down in a letter to the BDA.

Mick Armstrong, chair of the British Dental Association Principal Executive Committee, said:  ‘This is a victory for young dentists and for common sense.

‘We all remember what it’s like starting out. It’s a time when you’re finding your feet, facing a steep learning curve and a mountain of student debt. It’s not the time to add to that uncertainty with a blanket pay cut.

‘The Department of Health should not be balancing the books off the back of young dentists. We were determined to fight their corner, and stand up for the next generation. And today that work has paid off. We will continue to oppose attacks on pay and conditions whenever they are threatened.

‘This decision means £2,000 in the pocket of every foundation dentist. That’s £2 million saved for FDs whether they are BDA members or not. And it is testimony to what we can achieve, when we act together.

‘We have worked extremely hard on this. My personal thanks go to the PEC, GDPC and the BDA staff who have shown great resolve and also our thanks to everyone who made this possible, to each of you who signed our petition, and to every BDA member whose subscriptions funded our work. You have all directly contributed to a brighter future for our young dentists.

‘Although this has been a protracted and difficult process, the Department of Health has at least had the good sense to avoid prolonging matters further with a costly and damaging legal battle. We hope the General Dental Council is taking note.’

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