Lib Dems try to block regional pay in public sector


Conference delegates voted overwhelmingly for a motion opposing regional pay

In the end, a debate did take place, although it was a rather one-sided affair. A vote calling on the UK government to halt any expansion of regional pay in the public sector was carried overwhelmingly.

In a 45-minute debate, three Lib Dem activists did speak in favour of ending national pay deals but the mood of the hall was more in tune with those, largely from Cornwall and Wales, who feared the impact in their areas.

Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said local pay would leave parts of the UK with the prospect of a talent drain as the "best public sector workers leave for richer pastures".

He said: "There is a problem in that in the UK, parts of the country have a private sector that is less competitive on wages than the public sector. Let's do all we can to stimulate the private sector rather than bring the publicsector down. "This should not become a race to the bottom for wages of people in the poorer areas. We will not solve the vast inequalities that exist in this country by paying poorer people less."

Lower wages, he said, would mean less money in the local economy, which would mean the private sector suffered too.

The vote, you won't be surprised to learn, isn't binding on the uk government but, whatever the economic arguments, George Osborne will face strong political opposition from some in his own party should he press ahead with local pay deals.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    As is every part of England except the South East. Do you honestly think the Tory government elected by the SE gives a didley .... about the rest of England and especially Wales. They hate the Public Sector its not in their Psychi

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Top pupils 'dumb down' to get A* grades, say headsBy Sean Coughlan

    BBC News education correspondent. Using English Quals is the way ahead???

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    If all the jobs in the private sector are at minimum-wage levels, and the geniuses in charge decide to set public pay against the local private-sector rate, then no-one who could get a job elsewhere will come here. In a generation, all of Wales will make Ralph C Nesbit look like a senior diplomat.
    People don't want to travel 10 miles for a neurosurgeon. Welcome 50miles for a G.P.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    racing to the bottom is never a good thing,not that we'd have far to go in wales anyway.The problem is the huge gap between the private and the public.How is this resolved?not for a while me think especially seeing as a lot of private employment in the valley is for low skill,low productivity,low profit generating work.



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