UK GOVERNMENT plans to introduce regional pay have been firmly criticised by officials at Holyrood.
The scheme, which would see the pay of all public sector workers being aligned with local market conditions, has been rejected wholeheartedly by the Scottish government who argue that it could be seen as a mechanism to cut public spending that would have a negative impact on the Scottish economy.
The Scottish government today sent evidence to several independent UK review bodies which set out further their position with regards to the matter as well and questions the reasoning behind Westminster’s plans.
The cabinet secretary for finance John Swinney said: “The UK Government’s proposals are damaging, unfair and without any merit.
“I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of the UK Government’s proposals on both the Scottish economy and over 30,000 public servants employed in Scotland by UK Government departments.
“The Scottish Government will not follow this approach for those employees for whom we have responsibility and we will do everything we can to persuade the UK Government to reconsider its proposals for those UK public servants in Scotland who could be affected.
“Today we have submitted the Scottish Government’s response to the pay bodies that have been asked to consider these matters, to reinforce the strength of the Scottish Government’s opposition to the policy.
“Our submission highlights the weaknesses of the UK Government’s approach, and in particular the lack of strong evidence that these proposals will support economic growth or lead to greater public service efficiency.
“Public sector pay must be both affordable and fair. That is why this Scottish Government has protected those on the lowest incomes, implemented the Scottish Living Wage and frozen pay at senior levels.
“Our approach is helping us address the challenges that exist in the public finances and, crucially, is helping us sustain the contribution that public sector jobs and public services make to local economies across Scotland.”