Don Foster MP


Lib Dems line up against regional pay

Don has co-signed a letter with backbench Liberal Democrat colleagues welcoming the DPM Nick Clegg’s reassurance that there will not be regional pay-bargaining in the public sector.

16 May 2023

The introduction of regional public sector pay variations has been the subject of anxious discussion following George Osborne’s March budget.

The deputy prime minister’s dismissal of regional public pay sector plans is therefore warmly welcomed as a reiteration of the Liberal Democrats‘ commitment to equality and public services (Clegg dismisses plan for regional pay deals, 14 May).

There are many myths about the inflexibility of public sector wage settlements, but following calls for evidence by pay review bodies, distorted comparisons between the public and private sector workforce have been widely dismissed. They ignore the differences in the types of jobs as well as the age, gender, qualification and skill levels of staff in the two sectors, blind to the fact many of the lowest paid public sector jobs have been contracted out to private firms. Accordingly, many predict the introduction of regional pay would be bureaucratic and expensive and impact negatively on the provision of services, employee morale and many other important elements of local economies.

Nick Clegg’s reassurance that the government will not enact proposals penalising people in the poorest areas of the UK shows the arguments are being heard and the consequences of introducing such a system understood. We trust that Nick and the government will continue to respond to the obvious balance of evidence in this matter.

John Pugh MP, Annette Brooke MP, Malcolm Bruce, Lorely Burt MP, Mike Crockart MP, Tim Farron MP, Don Foster MP, Andrew George MP, Stephen Gilbert MP, Mike Hancock MP, John Hemming MP, Mark Hunter MP, Julian Huppert MP, Charles Kennedy MP, John Leech MP, Greg Mulholland MP, Dan Rogerson MP, Adrian Sanders MP, Ian Swales MP, John Thurso MP, Mark Williams MP, Roger Williams MP

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