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Welsh Liberal Democrats secure debate on regional pay

2012 Medi 13 1:38 PM

This year's Liberal Democrat Autumn Federal Conference will include a debate on regional pay after a motion was tabled by the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Following George Osborne's call for the Pay Review Body to look into the matter, the Welsh Liberal Democrats, in partnership with South East Cornwall Liberal Democrats, have designed a motion that will send the strongest possible signal that the party does not support any further extension of regional or local pay.

Assembly Member Eluned Parrott, who has written a blog on Lib Dem Voice calling for the support of members on the issue, commented:

"I am delighted that we have secured this important debate on regional and local pay.

"No one can doubt the Welsh Liberal Democrats' strength of feeling on regional and local pay - we are fighting for the very best deal for the people of Wales. While we are working to ensure that the Coalition Government doesn't repeat Labour's mistake by extending regional and local pay, we are also using our influence to form Liberal Democrat policy on this issue.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that moves towards regional or local pay will further engrain regional inequalities. Freezing people's salaries for an extended period until they equalise with local private sector pay rates would contribute to declining living standards. People in Wales are already really struggling at the moment - introducing regional or local pay certainly won't help matters.

"Despite their recent protestations, Welsh Labour should be ashamed of their record on this issue. I certainly don't remember them fighting tooth and nail to stop their party's introduction of regional pay into our courts system. Likewise, they seem in denial about the fact that it is Labour's policy to introduce a regional benefits system - something that would have a detrimental effect on the poorest families in Wales. Liberal Democrat Ministers have made clear that regional benefits is not something that will happen under their watch, we are now calling for the same to be said with regards to regional and local pay."

Notes:

The blog can be found here: http://www.libdemvoice.org/eluned-parrott-am-writes-lib-dems-should-say-no-to-regional-pay-30181.html

Liberal Democrat Conference is being held in Brighton. The debate will take place on Tuesday 25th September 15.25-16.20

F39 Fair Pay for Public Sector Workers Across the UK

Welsh Liberal Democrats & South East Cornwall

Conference notes that:

  1. The coalition government is considering the introduction of regional or local pay, which would see variations in the level of pay for public sector workers across the country.
  2. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the 2012 budget that "some departments will have the option of moving to more local pay for those public sector workers whose pay freezes end this year."

Conference is concerned that:

i) Regional or local pay could adversely affect many regions and nations of the UK especially those with relatively lower incomes or relatively weaker private sectors.

ii) Regional or local pay could reduce the economic productivity of these areas by reducing the amount of money in the local economy and consequently reducing demand, which would in turn have a detrimental impact on local businesses.

iii) Regional or local pay risks undermining public services in areas that offered lower rates of pay, as more skilled or experienced public sector workers would be able to compete for higher paying jobs in other regions and as a result there could be a 'brain drain' towards these regions.

iv) The evidence that there are significant pay differentials between the public and private sector and that consequently public sector pay is crowding our private sector jobs is inconclusive.

v) Local pay, as distinct from regional pay, could have an equally detrimental impact on the areas affected.

Conference endorses:

a) The statement by Vince Cable that "We certainly don't want to be in a position where in relatively low income parts of the country, pay is depressed. That would be wrong and inappropriate."

b) The statement by Nick Clegg that regional pay could "be totally unjust because it would actually penalise people working in some of the most difficult areas."

Conference calls for:

  1. The UK Government to rule out any further expansion in regional or local pay.

The continuation of national pay agreements for the Public Sector which may include flexibility to let employers solve specific staff recruitment and retention problems.

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