Why regionalised wages move may pay off
The negative tone of your article on the prospect of regionalised public sector pay (News, March 19) was, perhaps, predictable. But it was wrong.
The notion that £210m has been 'taken out of the economy' does not stand up to even the remotest economic scrutiny. In fact, what may happen is that money will be taken from the better-off to pay for desperately needed public services. This is not taking money out of the economy, but rather reallocating it to greater effect.
It is noteworthy that, even with their pay rise, MLAs will still receive less pay than their counterparts in Scotland and Wales on the grounds, effectively, that there are proportionately more of them. Here is the thing: there are proportionately more public sector workers here, too. So on what grounds are they paid the same, while politicians are not?
Contrary to assertions in the article, the cost of living is also lower in Northern Ireland, which is why private sector wages are comparatively low. The DUP never tires of telling us we are the lowest-taxed part of the UK.
As it is, we should not be surprised that our unwillingness to develop a properly functioning economy is coming back to bite us.
IAN JAMES PARSLEY
Newtownabbey, Co Antrim
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