The independent pay review bodies are considering how public sector pay can be made more responsive to local labour markets, and will report from July. Nothing has been decided, and no changes will be made unless there is strong supporting evidence and a rational case for proceeding.
As I have just set out, this is a question at present for the independent pay review bodies, which will report back in July. There is an argument that more local, market-facing pay in the public sector has the potential to support more for the same investment, and to help local businesses become more competitive.
23. How can it be fair for small businesses outside London and the south-east to have to compete for staff paid on national rates working in public offices? Given that the last Government committed us to local pay nearly 10 years ago, and that it already operates in the Courts Service, what is the problem with encouraging other departments to follow suit? (113601)
Last week, it was left to the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General to come to the Chamber to explain the Treasury’s position on regional pay. Was that because the Chief Secretary does not support the policy and the part-time Chancellor does not want to make another U-turn?
We had an extensive and rather premature debate on this last week in the Chamber, and I shall say again what I said then: the independent pay review bodies are producing a report, and it would be premature to review that without the evidence, which they are considering.