Saturday, 19 May 2012

Hypocrisy as Alexander Puts Case for Regional Pay



The SNP has condemned Danny Alexander for putting forward the case for regionalising public sector pay – potentially meaning pay cuts for Scottish workers – in a local newspaper when the Chancellor’s policy is out for review.

In the Northern Echo, Mr Alexander backed the case for lower “local pay” for nurses and teachers in the North-East of England – only days after his Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg rubbished the idea.

Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie, SNP MP for Dundee East, said:

“Why is Mr Alexander putting forward the case for regional pay when the policy is meant to be out for review? Has the decision already been made?

“This is total hypocrisy from Mr Alexander who should be helping public sector workers in this tough financial climate, not penalising them.

“This also highlights the rift within the Lib Dems as Nick Clegg very recently ruled out any changes to pay scales that would widen the North-South divide.

“Clearly Mr Alexander is becoming more Tory every day – it beggars belief that a Scottish MP appears to be championing a policy which could lead to unfair pay cuts for Scottish public sector workers.

“The UK government’s plan is a wrong-footed move which will further entrench the imbalance in jobs and investment towards London.

“Not only would this half-baked policy damage public services, it would also hinder efforts to share growth across all of the UK.

“George Osborne must think again. He must boost consumer confidence and get the economy moving again.

“The SNP’s current pay policy supports lower paid workers through the Living Wage of £7.20 per hour.

“But while the Scottish Government sets pay policy for devolved bodies, it does not do so for public sector workers employed by UK departments.

“That is why Scotland needs the full powers of independence. The latest GERS figures, published at the beginning of March, found that every man, woman and child in Scotland would have been £510 better off last year if Scotland had been an independent country.”
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