Here’s a curious contradiction of Conservative pay policy: why has Liz Truss backtracked on a plan to introduce “regional pay boards” for public sector workers when that was a huge part of a recent NHS reorganisation?
The 42 new Integrated Care Systems that now comprise NHS England are “postcode lottery” systems intended to lower the quality of the health service you receive, based on your location.
Part of that service reduction is the ability to vary pay for NHS workers, ensuring that those living in particular parts of England receive much less for their hard work than those living elsewhere.
Truss, yesterday, announced a plan for “regional pay boards” that would spread this policy to other public sector employees.
She said that this would save billions of pounds a year in government spending – and opponents immediately sprang to point out that the only way of achieving this would be by cutting the pay of not only nurses but teachers and other workers outside England’s wealthy southeast, as the nation faces a worsening cost-of-living crisis.
The plan would rip up the pledge on which the Conservative Party won the 2019 general election – to reduce regional inequalities. “Levelling up” would instantly become “kicking down”.
That’s not the wisest policy position to take, if a leader wants to go on winning general elections, as the backlash showed:
British foreign minister Liz Truss, the front-runner to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, was forced to backtrack on one of her most striking pledges a day after announcing it following a backlash from fellow Conservatives and opposition parties.
Sunak supporter Ben Houchen, the Conservative mayor of Tees Valley in northeast England, said he was “speechless” at the proposal.
Millions of nurses, police officers and soldiers would have had their pay cut by 1,500 pounds ($1,830) a year, Sunak’s campaign said.
Rachel Reeves, Labour’s finance spokesperson, said Truss’s plan would have sucked money out of local communities.
So now we know what Liz Truss wants to do to communities – and local economies – up and down the UK.
But will it make a difference to the way Tory party members vote in their leader election? The only policies on offer are those from Truss and her rival Rishi Sunak, and neither will help you, or reduce the cost burden their government has inflicted on you by a single farthing.
Source: UK leadership favourite Liz Truss U-turns on pay plan in first big misstep
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