Belfast Telegraph

Warning on regional pay rates plan

Workers in some cities outside London and the South East could suffer wage cuts of up to 17% under the Government's plans to introduce regional pay rates in the public sector, according to a new study.

Research by jobs website Adzuna.co.uk found that the West Country, the Midlands and the North of England will be hardest hit, especially cities such as Leeds, Liverpool, Belfast and Cardiff.

Tens of thousands of staff in government departments such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Department for Transport could see their pay cut by up to £5,000 if regional wage rates are brought in, said the report.

Allowances paid to some public sector workers in inner London could also be cut, to come into line with lower private sector payments, according to the research.

Doug Monro, of Adzuna, said: "Workers will always be paid a premium where demand outstrips supply, but the changes could well affect the prosperity of the regions and lead to even more migration into an overcrowded London."

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, said: "This is more evidence of the excruciating impact of local pay on some of the most economically depressed areas of the country.

"The Government should think again before introducing crude cuts that will starve local businesses of much-needed income, and add to the number of boarded-up shops in the high street.

"Public service workers are already suffering from a pay freeze despite the rising cost of basic necessities such as food and fuel. Local pay is expensive to implement and makes no economic sense."

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