You wouldn't want to be the NMC at the moment.
There are few organisations that could manage to get trades unions and professional bodies actually agreeing with Andrew Lansley, but in his comments that the NMC fee rise was difficult to justify, Unite and its members would have to agree.
It's not that nurses and midwives don't 'get' that thefee was bound to rise. In our survey of our members we asked them what they thought and many acknowledged that the fee should go up, with over two thirds of our members saying that future rises in the fee should be in line with inflation.
What they can't understand is why they are in the situation where the NMC seems to think that on 1 January 2013, it is acceptable to ask nurses and midwives to pay 58% more.
It was also unfortunate that the NMC in its own document tries to show they are on the side of nurses and midwives by having 'absorbed inflationary pressures' in previous years but then on the same page demand 58% more next year.
A feature of most of the conversations we have had is about how this would impact on nurses and midwives who have had to suffer a multi year real terms pay cut (which is set to continue), having to work longer, pay more and get less for their meagre pension, see more of their reducing money consumed by increasing utility bills, food prices, transport prices, with the list going on.
The fee rise also couldn't have come at a worse time for the NMC in terms of their facing repeated criticism of their failings and the changes that are being brought about that will see the service that registrants see, reduce.
Ultimately, our society benefits from the work nurses and midwives do (just like we benefit from having stable banks). We should all shoulder the cost of keeping society safe from any professionals that don't work to the high standards that we all rightly expect.