Northern Group of Labour MPs open letter on regional pay deals

Responding to press reports that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will today announce in his budget his intention to examine the introduction of regional pay deal, the Northern Group of Labour MPs have written the following letter to the region's newspapers: 

Dear Editor

We are writing this open letter in opposition to the Government’s proposals to introduce regional pay. We refute the Government’s central argument that public sector pay is crowding out  private sector jobs in the North East. The economic facts speak for themselves: the North East is the region with the lowest  wages and the highest unemployment, with 9 unemployed people chasing every vacancy. It is the lack of demand in the economy not the wages of nurses and teachers which is causing the problem.

The Government’s proposals will lead to different wage rates between regions and possibly within the region. The North South divide will grow and the least prosperous areas of the country will be the hardest hit, demand will be sucked out of the local economy as the money will not  be there to spend; impacting on jobs in the private sector.

We are committed to a strong and thriving private sector in the North East. The way to help private sector pay is to see investment in high value jobs such as those at Nissan in Sunderland, Hitachi’s soon to be built train building factory in County Durham, the renewables industry and the re-lighting of the TCP blast furnace in Redcar. We can also protect pay in the public and  private sectors with the minimum wage, something introduced by a Labour Government and opposed tooth and nail by the Conservative Party.

We see the Government’s proposals as short-sighted, devisive and without economic credibility. We call on the Government to withdraw their plans and concentrate on a plan for jobs and growth.

 

Yours sincerely,

PHIL WILSON  (Secretary, Northern Group of Labour MPs)

KEVAN JONES (Chair, Northern Group of Labour MPs)

DAVE ANDERSON 

STUART BELL 

ROBERTA BLACKMAN-WOODS 

TOM BLENKINSOP 

NICK BROWN

ALAN CAMPBELL

RONNIE CAMPBELL

JENNY CHAPMAN

ALEX CUNNINGHAM

JULIE ELLIOT

PAT GLASS

MARY GLINDON

HELEN GOODMAN

STEPHEN HEPBURN

SHARON HODGSON

IAN LAVERY

CATHERINE MCKINNELL

IAN MEARNS

DAVID MILIBAND

GRAHAME MORRIS

CHI ONWURAH

BRIDGET PHILLIPSON

IAIN WRIGHT