Ministers reject regional pay proposals
The Scottish Government today submitted evidence to the independent UK pay review bodies which challenges the coalition government’s economic case for regional pay.
The UK Government is proposing to reduce the pay of those working in parts of the public sector by aligning pay with local market conditions.
Scottish Ministers have previously made clear that the Scottish Government will not implement local market facing pay in Scotland and does not support the UK Government’s proposal.
The Scottish Government is also concerned that such a policy may be used as a vehicle to cut spending in certain parts of the UK with a negative impact on many areas in Scotland.
Today’s submission to the pay review bodies sets out the Scottish Government’s position in more detail and questions the evidence behind the UK Government’s plans.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney said:
“The UK Government’s proposals are damaging, unfair and without any merit.
“I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of the UK Government’s proposals on both the Scottish economy and over 30,000 public servants employed in Scotland by UK Government departments.
“The Scottish Government will not follow this approach for those employees for whom we have responsibility and we will do everything we can to persuade the UK Government to reconsider its proposals for those UK public servants in Scotland who could be affected.
“Today we have submitted the Scottish Government’s response to the pay bodies that have been asked to consider these matters, to reinforce the strength of the Scottish Government’s opposition to the policy.
“Our submission highlights the weaknesses of the UK Government’s approach, and in particular the lack of strong evidence that these proposals will support economic growth or lead to greater public service efficiency.
“Public sector pay must be both affordable and fair. That is why this Scottish Government has protected those on the lowest incomes, implemented the Scottish Living Wage and frozen pay at senior levels.
“Our approach is helping us address the challenges that exist in the public finances and, crucially, is helping us sustain the contribution that public sector jobs and public services make to local economies across Scotland.”
The Scottish Government evidence is available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0039/00393745.pdf