Union challenges Deputy PM to stand up to Chancellor’s “divisive, cost-cutting” plans


UNISON has called on Nick Clegg to do the right thing and convince George Osborne to ditch the divisive plans to introduce regional pay in the public sector.

In his Autumn and Budget Statements, Chancellor George Osborne laid out clear plans for a wide-scale re-organisation of how public sector pay is set. Today however, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg suggested that he was against plans, saying at a press conference that there would be ‘no regional pay system’.

The union has warned from the start that the plans are simply a cost cutting exercise that would exacerbate the North-South divide, take vital demand out of local economies and lead to skills shortages in areas where pay is set lower.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “If Nick Clegg disagrees with regionalised pay he should convince George Osborne to ditch his divisive plans. Far from being about making pay fairer, plans for regionalised pay in the public sector are simply a cost cutting exercise. Not a single public sector worker will get a pay rise, but many will see their pay cut.

“Regional pay would hit communities hard, entrenching low pay in certain areas. This would cut consumer spending in local economies which they desperately need to recover from the recession. Stopping the level playing field in the public sector could also spark a skills shortage in areas where pay is set lower.”

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