Public sector pay reform 'absolute disaster for Wales'
Published: 21st Mar 2012 07:01:17
The chancellor has been urged not to introduce regional pay in the public sector as he prepares to deliver his Budget.
A union representing public sector staff said it would be an "absolute disaster", depriving the Welsh economy of more than £1bn.
The UK government is examining how public sector pay can be brought into line with the private sector.
But critics say it would mean a pay cut for people in poorer parts of the UK.
Last autumn, Chancellor George Osborne asked independent pay review bodies to report in the summer on whether the public sector could be "made more responsive to local labour markets".
But the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which has members working for the UK and devolved governments, said the proposal would hit Wales particularly hard.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Wales has the biggest public-private pay gap in the UK.
Women in Wales can earn an extra 18.5% and men an extra 18% in the public sector than they could expect to make working for private companies, the think tank has said.
PCS senior national officer Jeff Evans said: "What these figures demonstrate is that regional pay would also be an absolute disaster for the Welsh economy."
The gap could be only be closed by holding down public employees' pay while wages in the private sector rise in line with inflation, he added.
"The real impact on the Welsh economy would be even greater, however, since the reduced spending power of public sector workers would translate into reduced revenues and wages in private sector businesses that currently benefit from that spending," he added.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has described the proposal as "ludicrous" and as "code for cutting pay in Wales".
New Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood on Tuesday night invited him and other Welsh party leaders to unite in opposition to the proposal.
Treasury officials say it would ensure the UK has a responsive, modern labour force.
They see the move as "pro-growth", saying it would help make the private sector become more competitive.
At 16:05:14 in EnglandAn outdoor education centre in the Forest of Dean, which was shut by Gloucestershire County Council due to budget cuts, has been sold.
At 16:04:34 in SportScotland's Lewis Benson lost in the opening round of boxing's 69kg division at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
At 15:55:21 in SportSussex fast bowler Chris Jordan hopes he can seize the opportunity if he is named in England's side to face India in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl.
At 15:53:16 in SportEnglish swimmer Ollie Hynd wants to complete a clean sweep of international titles when he competes at the Commonwealth Games.
At 15:52:53 in EntertainmentFormer Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis will go on trial on 1 September over sexual abuse allegations, a judge has ruled.
At 15:50:10 in ScotlandPrincess Anne has visited a producer of hand-painted ceramics to help mark the company's 40th anniversary.
At 15:48:17 in EnglandThe "controlling" ex-boyfriend of teenager Jayden Parkinson has been sentenced to life for her murder.
At 15:44:35 in EnglandA man wanted for questioning by police over the fatal stabbing of a guesthouse landlady has been arrested.
At 15:39:28 in HealthWould it be better if the NHS bought in bulk?
At 15:39:09 in SportBradford bring in forward Jordan Baldwinson for the injured Chev Walker, having been relegated from Super League last weekend.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Public sector pay reform 'absolute disaster for Wales' [Online] (Updated 21st Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1417705/Public-sector-pay-reform-absolute-disaster-for-Wales [Accessed 25th Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
This morning's economic growth figures confirmed that the UK economy has returned to its pre-recession peak from 2008.
Princess Anne has visited a producer of hand-painted ceramics to help mark the company's 40th anniversary.
A shotgun cartridge has been found in a plastic box tied to the lock of an Alliance Party constituency office in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.
The government must find someone to lead its probe into historical child abuse allegations immediately, a children's charity has said.
Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis will go on trial on 1 September over sexual abuse allegations, a judge has ruled.
Chinese computing giant Lenovo has shown off what it hopes will be a rival to Google Glass.