Saturday, 17 March 2012

Coalition plans for regional pay will damage the Cornish economy

According to the newspaper headlines, the Chancellor George Osborne is expected to remove the 50p tax rate for high-earners on over £150,000.

And I am appalled to read that he also intends to scrap “national” pay rates for workers in the public sector such as nurses and teachers.

I am in full agreement with Brendan Barber, the General Secretary of the TUC, that “this budget is shaping up to be a giveaway for the super-rich and a takeaway for Britain's hardest hit regions.”

This week, Cornwall found out it is likely to qualify for the next round of EU structural funds because of its low, and falling, economic performance, and because Cornwall’s GDP is only 72% of the EU average.

And now we have the madness of central government planning to drive down regional pay, irrespective of the fact that the cost of living and the cost of housing are extremely high in areas such as Cornwall.

Do they have no idea what damage their over-centralising policies are going to do to Cornwall?

The Government should actually be working to reduce regional disparities in pay and opportunity. If they do not rethink this proposal, they should be truly ashamed.

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