On the outrage about local pay for public services

Just a thought on this idea that people should be paid something close to local pay levels, not national, dependent upon the costs in an area/prevailing local wages.

It\’s entirely possible to have a principled stand that the same job should pay the same wage anywhere in the country. It\’s a pretty bad principle and I certainly don\’t agree with it but it is logically defensible.

However, that logic has already been breached. For we have London weighting on public sector wages. We already have an agreement that local wages in the public sector should reflect localwages/local costs.

If you\’re really insistent that jobs should pay the same then you should argue to abolish London weighting. And if you don\’t then you accept the basic point that wages should be variable.

After that the only question is how variable, isn\’t it?

4 comments on “On the outrage about local pay for public services

  1. But but but – London weighting is a bit extra for the Londoners, not a bit less for not-Londoners.

    Not that one man’s discount is another man’s surcharge or anything.

  2. There is another, pragmatic reason for having national public sector pay rates. It is the least inefficient way of redistributing purchasing power to poorer areas; much better than tax grants to local councils, bureaucratic regional subsidies or regional currencies, let alone direction of industry. To be consistent, there should of course be no London weighting, aiding the long-term redistribution of jobs, income and population, but this would be a matter of principle rather than sensibly pragmatic.

  3. This issue is far more complex than the simplistic Tory bashing idea that the object is to somehow be beastly to Liverpool and Glasgow worthwhile though that is.

    Shetland has had pots of oil dosh for decades, but can’t recruit teachers, social workers or planning officers because it at the back end of Christendom. They are prevented from simply paying more by national pay agreements leading to the folly of third rate services in the richest local authority in Scotland.

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