Regional Pay Back on the Agenda

I was very concerned to read in the Financial Times that the new ConDem UK Government intend pushing forward the regional pay agenda for public sector workers previously proposed by the then Labour UK Government. This announcement comes in addition today to the UK Government noting its intention to change the redundancy terms and conditions of civil service workers – effectively letting it sack public sector workers on the cheap.

The move towards regional pay is worrying on a number of fronts. Firstly, Welsh public sector workers will be paid less for doing exactly the same job as colleagues in other parts of the State. The consequence of this will be a talent drain from disadvantaged areas, which need the best public servants.

Secondly, uniform public sector pay places a platform beneath regional economies. Regional pay will mean increasing wealth polarisation between the richer and poorest parts of the UK, with significantly less cash circulating in local economies. Considering the disproportionate impact of the UK Government’s austerity programme on areas such as Wales this is another kick in the teeth for our communities. We will be opposing both the reduction in the civil service compensation scheme and the introduction of regional pay with vigour.

The very bad news from the UK Government contrasts significantly to two Welsh Government realted announcements over the last few days. Firstly, the Economic Renewal Programme by Plaid Leader and Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones which offers a radical overhaul of the way his Economic Ministry supports private sector development in Wales. Secondly, the second Holtham report into funding for Wales which clearly reiterates the case for the need for an immediate Barnett floor to protect the Welsh Government from the effects of the Barnett squeeze; the adaptation of a needs based funding formula for Wales rather than one based on population which would mean an extra £300m per annum for the Welsh Government; and thirdly, calls for the devolution of fiscal power for Wales broadly on the lines of the Calman Commission for Scotland. The report therefore is a significant step forward in the Welsh funding debate and the UK Government cannot be allowed to get away with its current tactics of kicking the whole issue into the long grass. We will be calling for an early response from the Treasury.

One Response to “Regional Pay Back on the Agenda” [latest first]

  1. Civil service have been living on a dream ticket for a long time though. Pensions included, in a big way, it has got to be said. A job and a pension for life is the old rubbish. And it has caught up with said ideology.

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