Danny Alexander photoscoop: what does "action on pay mean"
Danny Alexander has fallen foul of the Nikkor 400mm lens problem in Whitehall, leaving his briefing notes open for the snappers to snap.
For me the most interesting part of the note is the issue of public sector pay. The notes are briefing notes, not a list of measures: so they contain arguments for ministers to use.
One is: "Action on pay will minimise the job losses..."
The Guardian takes this to be the existing action on pay - namely a pay freeze, saving £3.3bn.
But it prompts in my mind a further question. Is the government planning further "action" on public sector pay in the form of an actual pay cut? This would be par for the course compared to other European governments. Ireland, Spain and Greece have all imposed actual pay cuts in the public sector, using a similar argument to the one in the line above on Alexander's document - namely that pay had risen above that of the private sector.
We'll find out tomorrow, but in excess of 490,000 job losses will bring a heavy toll of redundancy payments. One way around this would be to propose an across the board pay cut to mitigate the job losses.
If only Mr Alexander had left the correct page open for the snappers we would not have to wait until tomorrow.