General

By a Newsnet reporter

The announcement ahead of George Osborne’s budget this week that the UK government will scrap national pay rates for civil servants across the UK has been met with outrage.  According to the Coalition’s plans, civil servants in “poorer” parts of the UK will be paid less than those in the more propserous South East of England.

Critics of the plan claim that it will reinforce the existing economic gulf between richer and poorer areas and depress regions of the country already struggling in the economic downturn.

The pay differential will be implemented by freezing pay rates from next year until they fall into line with regional private sector wages.  The UK Treasury believes that public sector pay should reflect local economies and mimic the private sector.

Treasury officials claim that the change is needed because public sector wages are up to 18 per cent higher in some areas than they are for equivalent private jobs.  The Treasury believes this discourages recruitment and investment in the private sector.

It is understood that the regionalisation process of salaries will begin in three Whitehall departments in the coming financial year, before being introduced across the Civil Service.  The Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Department for Transport are first in line for the change.

There remain many uncertainties in the details of how the pay differential will be implemented.  It is not clear whether the changes will apply to existing staff or only to new employees but assurances have been made that no current employee will suffer a pay cut.  The new pay rates will affect public sector workers in Scotland who work for departments which are not devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said care needed to be taken over how local pay rates would be implemented.

Speaking to BBC radio, the Business Secretary 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.”

Trade unions have described the plans as “cruel” and “grotesque”.  Trades Union Congress 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 southeast 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.”

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, which represents many public sector workers, said: “All this will do is drive workers to the better paid regions, leaving large parts of the country without the professionals essential to sustain local services.

“George Osborne’s budget will reveal him as a grotesque reversal of Robin Hood, rewarding the super-wealthy by allowing them to skip over their tax responsibilities while mugging the low waged.”

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: “Driving down pay even further at the same time as cutting public sector salaries and pensions, and planning to cut the 50p tax rate, would not only be cruel it would be economically incompetent and counterproductive.

“Local economies – already suffering from Tory-led, politically motivated butchery – are crying out for investment, not more cuts. It appears that next week’s budget is shaping up to include the exact opposite of what our communities need to help them get back on their feet.”


Comments  

 
#
Barbazenzero
2012-03-18 00:21

Not only is this proof positive of Westminster’s “put London first” attitude, but the Barnett consequentials on Scotland and Wales will be a double-whammy.

OTOH, perhaps it confirms that Cameron and Osborne regard Scotland as either lost already or too stupid to notice.
 
 
#
Azg
2012-03-18 02:27

I think it’s the latter – the “too stupid to notice” thing. BUT in this case they will be shoving the knife into the poorer parts of England too. And Wales. Lots and lots of people.

Are they just trying to do a scorched earth policy and have only a one-term government? Or are there enough people who will vote again for this dangerous and indeed evil crew?

I find it more than a bit scary.
 

 
#
expat67
2012-03-18 01:22

What more do the people of Scotland need to reinforce the utter disdain that London has for the regions outside the SE of England? Such disregard for the already struggling parts of England itself illustrates once more where the present government has set its priorities. And it certainly isn’t for the struggling majority of the populace reeling from the effects of cuts, cuts and more cuts, much less for those people north of the border, who might just have the temerity to reject the hand that has robbed them for the last 300 years!
 
 
#
Vincent McDee
2012-03-18 02:07

For a very long time I’ve been wondering which alternative party should I vote for if the SNP did not exist.

The English have it raw.

They can either support the expendrift which would leave them out of pocket, through asfixiating taxes and by debting them for generations to come; or go for the selfish egocentric which care only about their ilk; or vote the shameless which priciples have been all exchanged for a figurative bowl of lentils; or the vague ukip; or the Greens; or….take your pick. (Bnp is not an option, is a nightmare)

How lucky we are not living in England; is something that as the saying goes: “I would not wish to the worst of my ennemies”.

A shame, because England as a country, would not be bad at all, if it wasn’t for the British.
 
 
#
Azg
2012-03-18 02:30

Quoting Vincent McDee:

…England as a country, would not be bad at all, if it wasn’t for the British.




Um, what does that actually mean, if anything?

 
 
#
RandomScot
2012-03-18 08:03

I’ll take a guess that he means simple who self-in deity with the British State over being English, or even as British rather than Yorkshire or West Country or what have you

Same as here, people who are willing to sacrifice the needs of their area for the Westminster good
 

 
#
Marga B
2012-03-18 12:19

England has some great, powerful and dynamic cities, it’s inconceivable that not one has done anything about this democratic black hole, especially since the present UK government came in.

Apart from the devolved communities, only England is defenceless in front of the rampant metropolitism and financial lobby of the UK and its parties. Only England has no (administrative  ) choice of saying “My world is English” and “My world is British”. Scots have, and 70% of Scots want most decisions made locally.

So I understand what Vincent is saying.
 
 
#
Robabody
2012-03-18 19:08

Indeed Marga and I agree….with the additional note that England has also has some great people with whom I have spent many a fine hour.
 

 
#
expat67
2012-03-18 05:32

I have put a comment on this thread some time ago. How long does it take for comments to be put on line?

We are all volunteers expat67 and at busy times, such as the weekend it may take a little longer than usual – NNS Mod Team
 
 
#
Titus
2012-03-18 07:26

Many years ago, when I worked in the civil service there was what was called a “London Weighting” paid on salaries,an increase in pay for those in the London area where it was dearer to live. Is this not still in place?
Titus.
 
 
#
admiral
2012-03-18 07:56

Quoting Titus:

Many years ago, when I worked in the civil service there was what was called a “London Weighting” paid on salaries,an increase in pay for those in the London area where it was dearer to live. Is this not still in place?
Titus.



One would assume that these will also be abolished, as the rate for the job in London would be the unfrozen salary, by the Chancellor’s logic.

 
 
#
rhymer
2012-03-18 15:50

Quoting Titus:

Many years ago, when I worked in the civil service there was what was called a “London Weighting” paid on salaries,an increase in pay for those in the London area where it was dearer to live. Is this not still in place?
Titus.



There still is a “London subsidy”.

Two other considerations here: First, Scotland is on average a much lower wage area than England so any reduction would have a more severe effect, and secondly, this would stop a lot of civil servants in The south from moving to Scotland as it would mean a reduction in their pay.

 

 
#
fiona4independance
2012-03-18 07:32

Yes there is still a London weighting of about £458 per month for zone 1 central London.
 
 
#
Hugo
2012-03-18 10:38

If that is the case then how can they sayQuote:

There remain many uncertainties in the details of how the pay differential will be implemented.

 

 
#
edinburghdave
2012-03-18 08:03

Im gonna post this again. It now dkdsnt seem so much of a rant, but a glimpse unto the future. I am a nurse and if need be I will strike again outvof solidarity for my colleagues in England.if need be. This will be the start of a generwl strike. Some unions have been itching for an excuse for one. Niw it seems they have the reason!

edinburghdave 2012-03-16 16:13

No way will wastemonster give this tax up. It will (rightfully so) make our airports,more competitive than the South. Remember. Its not just the London airports, but Manchester and Newcastle that we are also in competition with.

Personally, I am dreading this upcoming budget. All I have seen is a Chancellor and a tory party backed up by the utterly feeble lib dems protecting the “city” at sll costs. Osbourne doesnt give a damn about how much food costs, how much it costs our elderly to heat thier homes, how much a tank of petrol costs so that those of us still with jobs can get to work. Just so long as all that lovely money keeps flowing into the exchequer to keep his buddies in the ivory towers in thier multi million pound jobs and the UK’s mythical “triple A credit rating”. A device dreamed up by the very institutions who got us all in this mess as a form of blackmail to apply pressure to governmens to make even more money.

Make no mistake. not one single job of ours matters to this evil, disgusting party in control at westminister. The jobless statistics released this week (and conveniently made to disappear very quickly by the government propaganda machine)are proof of that. We are about to see thatcherite levels of unemployment, with Dickenesion levels of inequality.

As nationalists, we MUST hammer home the truth about what matters to the unionist parties. And that is london self interest, As long as the SE of england is ok, no one else matters. This goes through everything in society. From the spare cash in our pockets, our ability to look after our sick and elderly, our learning instituitions for our young to learn in, creating our future, to what we stand for in a global world without WMD. Our general quality of life. This is being driven down by people in a city who have never had to work for the things that we strive for.A wee holiday once a year. A step on the property ladder or whatever.The concept of working hard and saving means nohing to these people. We are but a means to an end.

It must stop. This message MUST be driven home. It is ONLY independance that can free us of the nightmare that is affecting us all just now. We can be better than this.We, as a people ARE better than this every man is an island mentality.
 
 
#
alexb
2012-03-18 09:53

Quoting edinburghdave:

Im gonna post this again. It now dkdsnt seem so much of a rant, but a glimpse unto the future. I am a nurse and if need be I will strike again outvof solidarity for my colleagues in England.if need be. This will be the start of a generwl strike. Some unions have been itching for an excuse for one. Niw it seems they have the reason!

edinburghdave 2012-03-16 16:13

No way will wastemonster give this tax up. It will (rightfully so) make our airports,more competitive than the South. Remember. Its not just the London airports, but Manchester and Newcastle that we are also in competition with.

Personally, I am dreading this upcoming budget. All I have seen is a Chancellor and a tory party backed up by the utterly feeble lib dems protecting the “city” at sll costs. Osbourne doesnt give a damn about how much food costs, how much it costs our elderly to heat thier homes, how much a tank of petrol costs so that those of us still with jobs can get to work. Just so long as all that lovely money keeps flowing into the exchequer to keep his buddies in the ivory towers in thier multi million pound jobs and the UK’s mythical “triple A credit rating”. A device dreamed up by the very institutions who got us all in this mess as a form of blackmail to apply pressure to governmens to make even more money.

Make no mistake. not one single job of ours matters to this evil, disgusting party in control at westminister. The jobless statistics released this week (and conveniently made to disappear very quickly by the government propaganda machine)are proof of that. We are about to see thatcherite levels of unemployment, with Dickenesion levels of inequality.

As nationalists, we MUST hammer home the truth about what matters to the unionist parties. And that is london self interest, As long as the SE of england is ok, no one else matters. This goes through everything in society. From the spare cash in our pockets, our ability to look after our sick and elderly, our learning instituitions for our young to learn in, creating our future, to what we stand for in a global world without WMD. Our general quality of life. This is being driven down by people in a city who have never had to work for the things that we strive for.A wee holiday once a year. A step on the property ladder or whatever.The concept of working hard and saving means nohing to these people. We are but a means to an end.

It must stop. This message MUST be driven home. It is ONLY independance that can free us of the nightmare that is affecting us all just now. We can be better than this.We, as a people ARE better than this every man is an island mentality.


You saved me having to write anything E.D. Agree with every point.

 
 
#
Holebender
2012-03-18 10:03

Is it too much to ask that posters proof read their posts before clicking the “send” button? Or failing that, use the edit facility to go back and correct the worst of the mistakes.

Many a good post is rendered nearly unintelligible by a hasty “send” before a quick read-through to check for mistakes.
 
 
#
Stevie Cosmic
2012-03-18 10:31

Yep, that does my head in too. I effectively have to read it twice to take account of the spelling errors and typos. That’s a shame really, because heartfelt posts like this one would be doubly powerful if the spelling didn’t hinder the flow.

Perhaps it’s worth pointing out at this juncture that modern browsers support dictionary/thesaurus/spell check plugins that can correct on the fly. Even the most basic ones will at least highlight the spelling errors as you type. Firefox for example has dozens of free language plugins that install in seconds and take most of the hassle out of proof reading a post.
 
 
#
Holebender
2012-03-18 12:18

“Correcting” on the fly is the source of at least half the unintelligible errors in posts IMO. Especially when people are using tablets and so-called smart phones.
 
 
#
Stevie Cosmic
2012-03-18 12:29

Yes, but you don’t need to use predictive text, I never do, not even for SMS messages. Highlighting potential errors is enough for me and makes proofing comments a lot more speedy.
 
 
#
Holebender
2012-03-18 12:37

Agreed, but so many people do use predictive text, etc.
 

 
#
Marga B
2012-03-18 12:38

Stevie, thanks for the info, but not everyone is up to date with these things. First I heard about all these plug-ins for Firefox etc. for instence. Don’t blame us, it’s hard enough trying to survive in the digital world without people banging on about fossils!
 

 
#
Hugo
2012-03-18 10:44

I agree but the Edit/Change icon is not obvious.
 
 
#
Robabody
2012-03-18 19:55

Hands up Hb…. as in packing it in you understand, not any other risqué connotations. Eiderdown as charged….or quilty my Lord if you prefer. Generally my mistoochies are in proportion to the red wine, red mist or other clinical visual disturbances associated with neither.
 

 
#
Robabody
2012-03-18 19:39

While agreeing with the content I would add a caveat ED that while Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield et al may be competitors (and will continue to be) they will fall into the “sphere of influence” of a independent Scotland. How we manage that will be one of the great first test of the new Sco Gov. No doubt the glitter and flash of the bigger organisations (EU etc) will draw the eye BUT, we should also be looking closer to home. Exciting isn’t it……not only can we help ourselves but we can possibly help our immediate next door neighbours (and their children and their hopes) without having to hand all our dosh to Westminster first. Roll on indeed.
 

 
#
edinburgh quine
2012-03-18 08:03

And the tories march on, padding the nests of the rich with the scrapping of the 50p tax rate, and now this obscenity. And lets not forget, with the acquiescence of their libby bedfellows.

And moribund the other day; what did he propose? That people under 25 who were long term unemployed should have their benefits removed if they didn’t take jobs they were offered.

Please, someone, tell me the difference between the 3 english based parties
 
 
#
Robert Louis
2012-03-18 09:02

The difference between the three main English based parties? That’s easy;

The Blue Tories,

The Red Tories

and not forgetting those loveable rogues,

The Yellow Tories.

Same policies, different colour badge.
 
 
#
Jiggsbro
2012-03-18 10:54

Labour: claim to be the party of the working class, but really the party of the very rich.

Conservatives: claim to be the party of the middle class, but really the party of the very rich.

LibDems: claim to be everything to everyone, but really the party of the very rich.
 
 
#
Marga B
2012-03-18 12:40

There’s one big difference. Labour gets money and support from the TUs. The TUs (sorry, Edinburgh above) are responsible for perpetuating the hubris of Labour.

When will trade unionists, especially nationalists, put an end to this situation?
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2012-03-18 12:47

“When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?”
From,”Where have all the flowers gone”?
Marlene Dietrich.
 

 
#
thomsor
2012-03-18 08:31

No change in tory policy. Divide & Rule and make sure the south east of england keep the spoils.
 
 
#
hiorta
2012-03-18 23:58

A reasonable reciprocal response is to simply reduce the salary and expenses for MPs in keeping with this reduction.

Remuneration for councillors could also be trimmed pro rata.
 

 
#
Robert Louis
2012-03-18 08:52

Apologies that this is o/t

Those with an interest in Willie MacRae, may find this interesting.

guardian.co.uk/…/…
 
 
#
gus1940
2012-03-18 09:21

O/T
Would it be considered paranoid to think that MI5 will have opened dossiers on all individuals considered to be Cybernats?
 
 
#
expat67
2012-03-18 10:05

Probably not!
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2012-03-18 15:04

I’M WRITING A BOOK!
TREACHERY?
 
 
#
Embradon
2012-03-18 17:33

They are going to need a big filing cabinet.
 
 
#
Robabody
2012-03-18 20:03

Will the fact that I like Courage Director’s bitter be a mitagiting factor?
 

 
#
Taighnamona
2012-03-18 10:12

This is interesting, perhaps at long last the truth will out for both Hilda and Willie.
 

 
#
SMEman
2012-03-18 08:59

Im going to be controversial here. I support this. I am an SNP member and long term supporter, buti also employ 50 people in a less affluent area of Scotland. I have tried to employ good people out of the public sector to work in my business, but the pay differential is such that we can’t afford them. That’s not me being mean, it’s just that the business couldn’t sustain their wage levels. If they were paid more closely to the local market, then I’d have a fighting chance of employing them. I’m a good business owner: we probably employ more than we need to and really look after our staff but competing with the public sector – no chance. I can’t see a problem with salary levels being set more locally or regionally. In every other aspect of employment, wages are set locally.
 
 
#
Ericmac
2012-03-18 12:36

SME, no need to be apologetic for supporting it. In many respects, the cost of living in different areas justifies different market pay rates. (As evidenced by London weighting for years) However, there is little enough advantage for the people living in the poorer areas and any extra spend in poor area has to be a good thing. The UK has a massive regional disparity across health, wealth, employment and standard of living and has little effective fiscal initiatives to redress the imbalance. Unfortunately, this government initiative, which seems like common sense to any businessman who understand the labour market, is in fact another economic kick for these regions.
 

 
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UpSpake
2012-03-18 09:35

Institutionally created poverty. Absolutely no social awareness whatsoever.
 
 
#
nchanter
2012-03-18 09:57

Quoting UpSpake:

Institutionally created poverty. Absolutely no social awareness whatsoever.


To our rulers in westminster we are no more than a renewable resource..So what are we to ourselves is what is important. Time to throw off the shackles as we were always better than that.

 

 
#
edinburgh quine
2012-03-18 10:08

I have just done a wee birl of the main English newspaper online headlines to see if the Sunday papers are as outraged about this as we appear to be:

The Mirror: AL600 OJ Jacket (what’s that about?) / A masterchef split from his wife / something about Bolton Wanderers / the windsors trying for a baby

Sun: PC Rathband / shop opening hours when the olympics are on / 800mpg on motorways / winner of euromillions / and something about ABV and football

Both the Mail on Sunday and The Telegraph are equally devoid of any mention of this although the telegraph had headline claiming doctors earn 20k a week

The Independent: mainly worthy headlines but nothing about public sector pay

The Guardian: they alone have this as their main story. Both the 50p tax thing and public sector pay
 
 
#
Embradon
2012-03-18 17:40

The Torygraph is now just like the Mail with slightly better joined up writing.

Having all but destroyed the integrity of the Scotsman, the Barclay Brothers seem to be doing the same for the Telegraph.
 

 
#
williamdsym
2012-03-18 10:12

this is what mr D.Fraser said on twitter



Douglas Fraser ‏ @BBCDouglsFrase  r

Reply
Retweet
Favorite
· Open

Swinney on Treasury plan for lower public sector pay in poorer areas:”totally irresponsible, half-baked, would hurt confidence”
 
 
#
admiral
2012-03-18 12:03

Since people in poorer areas tend to have lower life expectancy, I assume that the UK government will also bring in differential retirement ages and allow earlier payment of state pensions. In a similar way, since people in poorer areas are to take pay cuts, I also assume that there will be differential VAT rates, with a cut to take account of their lower disposable income.

I also assume that the Treasury has taken into account that the savings on lower wages will to some extent be offset by a lower income tax and National Insurance (employees’ and employers’) take on those lower wages. It will also bring more people into tax credit status, make more eligible for rent rebate, council tax rebate and therefore increase welfare payments.

In addition, lower disposable income means that jobs will be lost in local economies as poorer people actually spend a greater proportion of their incomes. As they spend less, local small businesses (shopkeepers, pubs, cafes, etc) will contract and lay off workers, thus reinforcing the downward spiral.
 
 
#
Holebender
2012-03-18 12:15

As the new lower wage civil servants will also receive lower pensions on retirement I presume state pensions in poorer areas will undergo a similar reduction. After all, the cost of living will be so much lower so no point in paying excessive pensions, eh?
 

 
#
C2DEalba
2012-03-18 12:13

I do hope as a matter of principle, that MP’s wages are lowered. A great show of solidarity. Labour will champion this surely? NOT!

Today’s reason for independence is this plan.
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2012-03-18 14:21

Quoting C2DEalba:

I do hope as a matter of principle, that MP’s wages are lowered. A great show of solidarity. Labour will champion this surely? NOT!

Today’s reason for independence is this plan.



—-and donate the proceeds to all the voluntary organisations springing up in cities,towns,ru  ral and the islands,tellin us how to:-
Get oot o debt,
pay the rent,get oot o wet hooses,find a job,stop the kids gettin chests,pay the lectric, makin ends meet——
WE in Scotland say we dinna want to dae these things—–most of us want a job.

Scottish Labour,for 13 years,has given us help centres and more help centres,debt counselling advice centres and there prood o it,are we a daft? Another ribbon to be cut by the Leader,whaur to go in the cooncil to get these wet walls sorted oot

13 years,and there prood o it!! HELP!

STOP THIS MOCKERY I WANT OOT.
INDEPENDENCE—YES.

 

 
#
wee folding bike
2012-03-18 12:25

This looks very much like a positive feed back loop.

Negative feed back causes a change back to normal values. This is how your body manages to keep steady temperature, water balance and so on. It’s also how a thermostat works.

Positive feed back causes the howl from speakers when the mic picks up their output. It may have caused snowball Earth in the past as reflection from snow and ice cooled the planet and caused more freezing.

On a brighter note it’s also what made Brian May, Jimi Hendrix and many others sound so good.
 
 
#
Jim Johnston
2012-03-18 17:14

Bizarre decisions coming out of Westminster are becoming common place.

It’s looking like a death wish ConDem government. Scotland will be well rid of of the Union, but I do feel for the people outside the south east corner.
 
 
#
edinburghdave
2012-03-18 17:38

As a nurse, I look to the USA where relatives teach university nursing courses. I look to how much nurses are paid in a truly private health care system and I can tell you now that there are nursing lecturers leaving teaching to go BACK to the wards, American nurses are paid so much, especially in the field that I work in. Cameron had better be very careful as private sector pay parity can work BOTH ways.Every nurse the length and breadth of the UK would be paid TWICE what thier average salary is now!
 
 
#
Concerned Scot
2012-03-18 17:54

“The pay differential will be implemented by freezing pay rates from next year until they fall into line with regional private sector wages.”

====================================
Sounds like a typical example of right wing think tank output. Couple of thoughts:

I assume that HM Treasury considers Scotland as one ‘region’ , so pay differentials between say, Aberdeen and Dundee will not be taken into account. Tough luck if you are a civil servant in the North East then.

Will the private sector in the ‘poorer’ areas respond by cutting their pay rates, thus causing a downward spiral year-on-year ?

With less money overall in the local economies of the ‘poorer’ regions, then surely the gap between them and more affluent areas (ie Home Counties, W Midlands) increase over time ? Not exactly One Nation Toryism is it ?
 
 
#
Marga B
2012-03-18 18:28

Concerned Scot, you are right, the north-east of Scotland is supposed to be one of the 10 wealthiest regions in Europe, according to Eurostat figures kindly given by someone here.

Begs the question of the logistics of all this: how you would decide on wages with such wide divergences sometimes between adjoining regions and what exactly you count as a region – see the evidence here:

epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/…/…
 
 
#
Nautilus
2012-03-18 19:58

I sometimes wonder where this Oxbridge-educated clique of millionaires get their stupid ideas from – and with Vince Cable, whom I once credited with some intelligence – backing them up.

Apart from some of the anomalies that have already been stated, like adjacent local regions with widely different pay rates, tax credits and rent rebates (#Admiral), there will be the overall reduction in tax take for the Treasury. What will they do then in London about increasing their already huge infrastructure? How will they be able to sustain their own public sector workers high pay? They’ll price themselves out of world markets. Jobs will leave the SE.

Law of unforeseen circumstances or what? Watch out for a triple-dip recession.
 

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