UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Regional pay in the public sector - Westminster Hall debate

Last November Tory Chancellor George Osborne announced a review of public sector pay with a view to introducing regionalised pay bargaining. Yesterday the proposals were debated in Westminster Hall and a number of MP's made impressive interventions including Labour's Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) who said 'we should remember that salaries at the lower end of the public sector, as in the private sector, are not those on which a family—or often even an individual—can live.

The minimum wage is not a living wage, and for that reason, Newcastle City Council is working towards a living wage in the most difficult economic circumstances. Low-wage and minimum-wage employers often have to be subsidised by the state, in that working tax credit and housing benefit are needed to enable their employees to live decently, so depressing private sector salaries will cost the state more in benefits' - the full debate can be read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm120110/halltext/120110h0001.htm#12011041000001