Monday, 9 April 2012

Call For End To Whitehall Subsidies - Jobs Must Be Dispersed Across The UK


£116m WASTED EACH YEAR ON LONDON WEIGHTING ALLOWANCES

The SNP has called on the Westminster Government to disperse civil service jobs across the whole of the UK rather than press ahead with damaging plans for regional pay disparities.

An excess of £116 million is spent each year by Whitehall on London weighting and London living allowance for staff.

The SNP’s Business and Enterprise spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, said substantial savings could be made from this bill by the decentralisation of government jobs, which would also would boost struggling economies across the UK.

Mr Weir said:

“The government’s plans to introduce regional pay disparities is a wrong-footed move which will further entrench the imbalance in jobs and investment towards the south east.

“The two-tier system it would create would penalise civil servants across the land who will see their salaries cut while jobs are effectively subsidised in London.

“Rather than taking more cash from the pockets of hard pressed public servants, some of the £116 million used to subsidise London living could be recouped by redistributing jobs where they are needed most.

“The extra costs incurred for London living are staggering – the Department for Work and Pensions alone picks up an additional bill of £45 million, while the only relocation over the last year has been from Northamptonshire to London.

“And in defence we see almost £11 million spent annually on London weighting and living allowances for staff, while Scotland has seen over 10,500 defence jobs lost since the last strategic defence review.

“By moving jobs out of London, rather than cutting salaries outside London, we can boost local economies, help build a fairer society and make savings at the same time.

“The UK government should call a halt to regional pay differences and explore instead how government jobs could be better spread across the UK.”
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