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Regional pay rates 'unfair'

Most people want the Government to scrap controversial plans for regional pay, believing the move would be unfair on public sector workers, according to new research.

A survey of over 1,000 adults for the TUC found that only one in four supported the idea of different wage rates for nurses, teachers and other workers, in different parts of the country.

Around two thirds said the plans should be dropped and a similar number described regional pay as unfair.

Three out of four Liberal Democrat supporters and just over half of Tories didn't want the plans to go ahead.

Unions have warned that local pay rates would make it more difficult for schools and hospitals in poorer areas of the country to recruit staff.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Ministers should be listening to those MPs who live in less affluent parts of the UK and who are only too aware of the damaging impact that an even longer public sector pay freeze could have on their local economies, which are already taking a hammering as families rein in their spending and austerity bites hard.

"Apart from the obvious unfairness of paying a teacher in Gateshead less than one teaching in Gloucester, wildly varying pay rates will make it much harder for schools in poorer areas of the country to attract quality staff."