Labour Assembly Members Julie James, Gwenda Thomas, Edwina Hart AM, Mike Hedges, and David Rees have come together to express their condemnation of the Westminster Government’s attempt to introduce regional pay. The move would mean that thousands of key public sector workers in Wales could be hit by a wage cut of as much as 18% if regional pay is introduced across the whole public sector.

In a joint statement Julie James AM, Gwenda Thomas AM, Edwina Hart, Mike Hedges AM, and David Rees AM said:

‘Any move to a system of Regional Pay would only serve to entrench the already vast inequalities between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the UK. These jobs require the same skills and qualifications despite the location, and can even be more challenging in deprived areas. Most people would agree that it is fair to pay people for what they do, not where they live. Furthermore, cutting public sector pay in poorer areas will take money out of people’s pockets that they would have otherwise spent in the private sector, causing a knock-on effect on the whole economy.We wholeheartedly condemn any attempt by the UK Coalition-Government to introduce regional pay and any nationalist commitments to independence which would ultimately lead to regional pay via the back door.’

The issue was raised by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in his autumn statement when he announced a review of Regional Pay. Last week he announced that he would allow Government departments to decide to introduce this later in the year following the review.