Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has expressed concern as new plans from the Westminster Government to scrap national pay rates for public sector workers are set to be announced in this week’s budget.
Linda said “I am very concerned that the workers in the Department for International Development and HM Revenue and Customs in East Kilbride will be unfairly affected by the Chancellor’s plans.
“In Scotland, we have the power to protect public sector workers who are employed by either the Scottish Government or Local Authorities but we cannot protect workers employed by Westminster under the current constitutional settlement.
“I welcome reassurance from Scotland’s Finance Secretary that Scotland will not follow this path and that this process is unlikely to affect wages in devolved services such as health and education.
“Under these plans for localised pay bargaining being considered by Chancellor George Osborne, civil servants working here could earn less for doing the same job as their counterparts in other parts of the country. It’s not right.
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has said that the Scottish government will “vociferously oppose” plans by the Chancellor to abolish national pay rates for civil servants.
He said “This move could penalise public servants in Scotland and damage public services – increasing regional pay disparities and resulting in spending cuts to pay for higher public spending in London and the south-east, hindering our efforts to share growth across all of the country.
“That will be a disastrous approach if it’s taken by the Chancellor because it will undermine economic confidence in areas far removed from the south east of England and it will do absolutely nothing to solve the regional inequities that exist within the United Kingdom.
“The Chancellor must think again about his half-baked plan.”