More anti-worker, pro-Tory shit from a Blairite wanker.http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2012/03/20/budget-review-abolishing-national-public-sector-pay-rates-is-right/
As part of the Budget run-up, on Friday Britain’s labour movement was convulsed at the thought of the latest Osborne proposal: that national public sector pay rates might be scrapped.
But, before we join the voices of the major trade unions and the TUC who are, understandably, trying to look out for their own interest group, as a party whose interests are not always identical to those of our union colleagues, it might behove us to take a few minutes to take a step back.
Now, while no-one would suggest we should be adopting the Tory Budget wholesale, smart opposition is about determining which bits to oppose. A regional bargaining system would likely increase some pay-rates, as well as decreasing (or failing to increase) others.
And it is surely difficult to argue that the current, entirely inflexible system of fixed national pay rates, which was put in place decades ago in a corporatist state era, is fit for purpose.
Ironic, really, because PCS’ Respect-supporting general secretary, Mark Serwotka – displaying, sadly, a crushing lack of economic understanding – claims that localising pay rates would “institutionalise poverty“. In fact, it is precisely this kind of distortion which can cause a market failure, leading to a lack of jobs altogether. And there’s little that institutionalises poverty more than that.
So, in short, some people get overpaid for where they live and some people get underpaid. The fixed national rate distorts the pay rate away from the “fair” cost of living in a region. Pretty obvious stuff really, in that unless the cost of living were uniform across the country – which it is not – this is always going to happen.
The obvious question: is it not, then, sensible, to vary pay rates across regions, as they do in many other countries with not quite as centralised a tradition as ours? Will the sky really fall in, Chicken Licken? Why exactly should public sector workers be paid the same in the south east and the north west?