Tuesday, 4 September 2012

More dross on regional pay

Responding to a report from the right wing lobby group Policy Exchange UNISON Scotland observed more  than a  few failings in the report


·         The extent of the public/private premium is exaggerated because they rarely compare like with like in terms of jobs.
·         Local pay systems are actually rare in the private sector as well, as the Income Data Services report shows. Even where  there is some local element  it tends to be just  ‘London & South East’ and the ‘Rest of UK’. There is little difference in earnings between the regions of the UK. Even prices are levelling out due to internet buying etc.
·         Local pay strategies are unpopular with employers because of the costs involved in duplication and the lack of paybill control. They require close management or they can become unwieldy and lack transparency. This again adds to costs.
·         Public sector, like private sector, may have national pay bargaining but actual wages already vary. For example, Scottish local government has common pay spine, but actual rates for the job vary.
·         The report repeats the assertion that public sector wages are ‘crowding out’ private sector – but,  as usual,  provide not a scrap of evidence to prove it.. It’s just a ideological assertion from dogmatic privatisers.  
·         It is regional pay that would cost jobs. A report, produced by the New Economics Foundation, found that removing that amount of money from local economies could see up to 110,000 jobs lost. Low consumer confidence is already stifling the Scottish economy, this would kill it dead. One of the reasons the Scottish Government, in their submission to the UK government, has rejected regional pay.

This is just regurgitated dross from right wing propagandists desperately trying to breathe life into a dead donkey. Even Northern English Tories have opposed this stuff.

The arguments against regional pay are strong and backed by hard evidence. On top of the costs to the economy as people spend less, it would also hit services, with pay cuts leading to shortages of key staff and increased staff turnover. Only a London based right-wing campaign group would think it helpful  to accentuate the north-south divide.

See also recent UNISON UK releases and report:

Regional pay 'ruse to drive down pay' - UNISON28 August

New UNISON research 'final nail in the coffin for regional pay' 23 August 2012

‘Crowding out: fact or fiction?’ A research report for UNISON from Incomes Data Services (IDS)
July 2012

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