Labour Research February 2012


Regional pay proposals blasted

Plans by chancellor George Osborne to introduce regional differences in public sector pay are meeting stiff resistance.

For example, Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said that a move to regional pay for public sector workers would simply short change regional economies.

“Cutting workers’ pay will not create a single job in any region and will lead to further falls in demands for goods and services in regions facing the pay cuts implied in this proposal,” he said.

The union pointed out that living standards have already dropped by between 9.1 % and 2.3% in different regions since the general election, and these proposals will make things worse for ordinary working people.

The PCS civil service union has described Osborne’s proposal as “economically incoherent” because it would undermine the government’s stated aim of helping to drive growth and development in the regions.

And a growing number of coalition partners are speaking out, with some Lib Dem MPs saying such a move would fragment the public sector and could be counter-productive by driving down private sector wages.