Liverpool City Council motion: Regional and local public sector pay

This is a resolution that I have tabled to the next meeting of the City Council. It has been written for me by the research department of the TUC. At our recent conference we roundly condemned the conept fo regional pay for the reaosn given in our letter. This view had already ben taken by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable so our Party is united on thsi matter.

My one request to the Labour Party in Liverpool is – “Just support this motion. Don’t mangle it up and mess it up as you did with our last motion relatingto private landlords in the City. Just agree it and work with to oppose this bonkers idea.

Council notes:

  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the 2012 Budget the Government’s desire to introduce ‘more market facing’ public sector pay. This could mean regional or local public sector pay.
  • There has been no independent assessment of the impact and consequences this policy could have for public services or the economies of low pay regions.
  • The New Economics Foundation believes that regional and local pay could cost the North West economy up to £1bn per year and 11,005 jobs

Council believes:

  • The Government’s case is based on the claim that public sector pay is ‘crowding out’ the private sector. This is not supported by evidence, particularly at a time of high unemployment. There are approximately 6 JSA claimants for every job vacancy in Liverpool.
  • This approach also ignores the real reasons for the differences between public and private sector pay. For instance, there are more high skilled workers in the public sector (such as teachers and nurses), and a smaller pay gap between top and bottom earners and a smaller gender pay gap.
  • Public sector employers already have some flexibility to adjust pay in response to local conditions, and higher rates are paid in London and the South East
  • All other English regions and devolved nations stand to be affected by this, with the possibility of years of pay falling behind the cost of living.
  • Full-time workers living in Liverpool are paid £48 less per week than the British average.
  • 65% of public sector workers are female.

Council further believes:

  • Regional or local public sector pay would have a harmful effect on Liverpool
  • It will make it harder for schools and other public services to recruit and retain good quality professionals who could earn more for doing the same job elsewhere.
  • There are 88,900 public sector workers in Liverpool and reducing their real terms pay each and every year will dramatically reduce spending power and have a negative impact on the private sector.
  • This policy will not improve the pay of private sector workers but instead could encourage further depression of wages in all sectors.
  • We do not want to be forever defined as a ‘low pay’ region and this policy is therefore counter to our city’s vision and ambitions for the future.   

Council resolves:

  • To write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chief Secretary to the Treasury stating this council’s opposition to plans for regional and localised public sector pay.
  • To write to all local MPs outlining concerns about the impact that this policy would have on services and the local economy.
  • To sign up to the Pay Fair campaign and raise awareness of the implications and risks of this policy locally, regionally and nationally. 

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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2 Responses to Liverpool City Council motion: Regional and local public sector pay

  1. Adam says:

    Surely Liverpool already is “defined as a ‘low pay’ region” compared to London and the SE? Isn’t it wrong that public sector pay is lower in the rest of the country than in London?

    And would you still oppose local pay if, instead of being a cost-cutting measure, the amount of money spent on, say, the NW remained the same – with any savings from lower pay going into infrastructure spending or on employing more people?

    • richardkemp says:

      No it would make no difference. The amount we pay people to do much needed jobs in society is already far too low. Lower pay would be immoral for these people who wold anyway need increased benefits to pay for essentials.

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