PCS and GMB say proposals would damage regional economies


Unions will resist any plans to introduce regional pay for public sector workers.

With MPs debating the issue today, PCS says regional or local pay rates would simply drive down wages and further depress local economies that desperately need investment, not more cuts and GMB has said plans would short change the regional economies.

PCS has described chancellor George 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.

Public sector pay has already been frozen for two years, and Mr Osborne announced in his autumn statement in November that it would be capped at 1% for at least two years beyond this.

In April, ministers intend to impose an increase in pensions contributions for public servants that will hit living standards even more.

General secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Regional public sector pay is the exact opposite of what our local economies need.

“Instead of allowing pay to be driven down to the lowest level, ministers should be looking to increase pay and living standards of everyone, to put money in people’s pockets to help our economy to grow.”

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “The proposal to move to regional pay for public sector workers is just short changing 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.

“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 the ordinary working people.

“It is a couldn’t -care-less attitude from a couldn’t-care-less government. Two thirds of the economy is consumer driven and Osborne must be the only person who does not get it. Squeezing wages, pay freezes and cutting jobs will not restart the economy. Using the IMF measures his cuts will reduce real private consumption by 4% and GDP by 3.4% over the next few years.”

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