Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin has spoken out against plans that could see the pay of public service workers in the Yorkshire and Humber area frozen or even cut for years to come.
The government is currently thought to be drawing up plans to break up national pay systems in the public sector which would mean that public service workers will paid less if they work in less affluent areas. Campaigners against the move say this would be unfair on nurses, teachers, care workers and others who work in our public services, as well as hitting businesses and jobs by taking money out of the local economy.
The TUC has compiled figures which show that even a 1% cut in pay for public sector workers across Yorkshire and the Humber would affect 574,000 people and take £130,000 out the region's economy.
The proposals, which are opposed by Labour, have already caused some disquiet among Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers representing constituencies in the North of England and other areas likely to lose out. But Chancellor George Osborne is reportedly determined to press ahead.
Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin said:
"Public service workers in Scunthorpe, as well as local businesses and all their employees, will be hit hard if these plans go ahead. In Scunthorpe, the plans will affect over 6,800 people- 16.7% of our working population-and will almost certainly mean that these people are not paid a fair amount for the work they carry out helping people in our community.
"The knock-on effect on our local economy will be even larger and will damage businesses already suffering in the double-dip recession. Our public servants should be paid properly for the job they do, not for the postcode they live in."
Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Leeds West MP, said:
"Struggling businesses and hard-pressed public service workers around the UK are really worried about these plans which could have a devastating impact on local and regional economies already suffering the worst effects of the double-dip recession.
"There is no evidence that they will cut costs or help rebalance the economy – on the contrary, breaking up national pay arrangements is likely to exacerbate regional inequalities as well necessitating additional costly bureaucracy. That’s why Labour is opposed to these plans."