Monday, 19 March 2012

Regional Pay = Regional Poverty.

The biggest threat to the general wealth of people in Wales and the economy here  is coming from proposals of the Con/Libdem  government  at Westminster. As they seem hellbent on introducing Regional payin the UK.

Plans to affect introduce local pay rates starting with 160,000 civil servants working in Jobcentres, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and border guards at ports and airports, are expected to be announced in this week's Budget. Though this could well go on to affect Teachers and eventually the whole public sector.

The Con/LibDem  have begin this with a misleading statistic aimed at Wales in particular.

For, the  Treasury says public sector pay in Wales is up to 18% higher than the private sector.

Its not that Wales is being singled out however.Local pay rates affecting up to six million public sector workers  in the UK could be rolled out from next year.

In one of the more interesting interventions on this debate, the Incomes Data Services have produced a report looking at the use of regional and local pay by the private sector. They find that the only real regional pay variations that exist are between London and the South East and the rest of the country.

Indeed if we look at the Treasury claim  public sector pay in Wales is up to 18% higher than the private sector. (Which the BBC so slavishly left unquestioned.) We must act why this is.

It is not because the public centre is to large.Its because the the private sector is to small . The eighties saw the decimation of or Heavy and Manufacturing Industries in Wales and  successive Tory and Labour Governments have completely  failed to redress the Balance.

The question we must ask is

What is the ratio of Public sector workers to private sector workers in "The Regions" . (I do not accept Wales is a Region even though some Unions seem to think so.) per head of  if the  population?

Is Wales for instance employing more people per capita than the South East of England ? Taking into account the centralist nature of the UK and the amount of Civil service jobs concentrated in the South east. amount
Taking into account there a virtual moratorium on recruitment in the public sector.

And yet  the Con/Libdem coalition claim the private sector will offset this yet there is no evidence that the private sector are seeing to increase recruitment 

Try looking at your own Local Authority to see the jobs they are offering or the NHS Jobs website where more often than not you will see the caveat on the lines of INTERNAL TO NHS STAFF ONLY.

Welsh public sector workers have already suffered next to no pay rise for the last 3 years and now face up to 18% pay cut affecting  of thousands of Welsh Men and Women.

How is this going to help the Welsh economy?. When the money flow is actually cut which will see job losses in the very private sector that the Government claim  this proposal is to supposed to help? Clearly if you cut peoples pay there will be an immediate treat to the retail sector.

We already have an unemployment rate of 9.1%, which compares with a UK average of 8.4%.

Whilst I accept that parts of London have a every high unemployment rate as shown in today's Independent where they report that the latest unemployment data showed that 46 of the 202 local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland have more than 10 dole claimants for every available job vacancy and A study by the TUC found more than nine claimants for every vacancy in the North East, compared with around four in the South East and South West.

I suspect the figures for Wales are similar.

It is clear to me that the Con/Libdem proposals are more about cutting public sector pay rather than redressing the balance between those working in that sector and the private one, and this is a ideological measure not an economic one.

The argument that Private employers in Wales, and indeed everywhere outside the South East of England, cannot recruit staff because of the attraction of high pay in Public sector would hold up if we didn't have a 9.1% unemployment rate or even if there were thousands of unfilled private sector jobs but they aren't there .

Except perhaps in the one "Region" (The South east of England ) which will not be affected by this policy.

What will the Tory and Libdems MPs from  Wales do when they are asked to vote on this? The latter is supposed to be a federated party. How independent are they? Perhaps its time that La Pasionaria (Kirsty Williams) takes control of all aspects of her party and tell her three Welsh MP's to oppose this measure.

1 comment:

  1. Adopting regional pay in the UK's public sector would be unwelcome in Wales.

    If adopted it will have the effect of further depressing Wales' economy (and not only Wales) already the poorest part of the UK, and of much of the EU.

    One possible silver cloud which may result in due course is that increasing the disparity between the rich and poor parts of the country will increase political tensions and hasten the demise of this not so blessed realm.

    No doubt the Tory think tank(s) which dreamt up the idea to save the Treasury a few billion, will have considered the political repercussions, but they probably don't give a damn about it as long as the milch cow of the City keeps the elite in power and prosperity.