Regional pay deal proposal revealed

Wharfedale Observer: A move to shift civil servants to regional pay deals under Budget proposals will spark anger from trade unions A move to shift civil servants to regional pay deals under Budget proposals will spark anger from trade unions

Civil servants could be moved to regional pay deals from as early as next month under Budget proposals that risk inflaming trade union anger.

As political wrangling continued over the final details of the package to be unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne, more details emerged of some expected changes.

North Sea oil firms are to be offered guarantees of long-term tax breaks for decommissioning old rigs in a bid to encourage billions of pounds of investment. And controversial moves to recalculate public sector pay rates to better reflect local variations in the private sector are expected to be accelerated.

Some of the more highly contentious aspects of Wednesday's Budget were discussed in a conference call by the so-called "Quad" of senior Conservative and Liberal Democrat figures at lunchtime. David Cameron, Mr Osborne, Nick Clegg and Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander are due to gather in person on Monday to put the finishing touches to the measures.

It is understood that the Budget "scorecard" has been presented to the Office for Budget Responsibility so it can calculate the economic impact of the changes. But although that met the deadline set for the independent body to start crunching the numbers, Downing Street indicated that the negotiations would continue into next week.

Those wrangles are mainly over tax cuts for top earners amid reports the Chancellor will set out moves to scrap the top 50p income tax rate on £150,000-plus salaries. While that would be hugely popular with Tory MPs as a stimulus to growth and a victory within the coalition, the Lib Dems want extra taxes on the rich and help for the lowest paid in return.

The Independent reported that Mr Clegg, whose party was previously opposed to lowering the rate, had struck a deal that a drop to 45p would be countered by a "tycoon tax" on the super wealthy. His proposal would set a minimum floor on the percentage of overall income paid by the wealthiest. But Labour leader Ed Miliband denounced an income tax cut "targeted at the richest people in Britain" as the "wrong priority" - saying youth unemployment should be the prime focus.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Moving to regional pay will not just reduce the pay of millions of public servants, but hit regional economies outside London and the South East as people have less to spend. This budget is shaping up to be a giveaway for the super-rich and a takeaway from Britain's hardest hit regions."

Business Secretary Vince Cable said care needed to be taken over how local pay was implemented to protect career progression in the civil service. He said: "The idea of having more flexibility in the public sector is surely right.

"What we are trying to do is to make sure that throughout the public sector there is more genuine decision making at a local level and you have to take into account pay and conditions. But it has got to be done very carefully because in the civil service, for example, you have to have career progression and that kind of national consideration has to be woven into the story as well."

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1:14pm Sat 17 Mar 12

newscritic says...

The Tories are truly awful.

Will this regional pay of public sector also apply to politicians?

Obviously Julian Sturdy does not need as much dosh as an MP in Chelsea?
The Tories are truly awful. Will this regional pay of public sector also apply to politicians? Obviously Julian Sturdy does not need as much dosh as an MP in Chelsea? newscritic
  • Score: 0

9:26pm Sat 17 Mar 12

Sankey says...

Great news and long overdue. How can it be right a public sector worker has the same pay rates in central London as St Helens. Its another public sector scam. I don't think it should apply to politicians (much as I would like it to) as they spend much of their week in London. I would imagine outsourcing functions to the private sector and or sharing services will be next. This will happen under Labour or the Tories there is no other option is we want our economy to growth and still enjoy good public services. The public sector has a clue in the name PUBLIC services and is not run for the benefit of public sector trade unions.
Great news and long overdue. How can it be right a public sector worker has the same pay rates in central London as St Helens. Its another public sector scam. I don't think it should apply to politicians (much as I would like it to) as they spend much of their week in London. I would imagine outsourcing functions to the private sector and or sharing services will be next. This will happen under Labour or the Tories there is no other option is we want our economy to growth and still enjoy good public services. The public sector has a clue in the name PUBLIC services and is not run for the benefit of public sector trade unions. Sankey
  • Score: 0
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