Regional Pay is Cutting Pay

A motion put forward to at today’s full council meeting of Cornwall Council on the Governments proposals for regional (public sector) pay. Many Councillors stood up to denounce the Governments proposals, with comments of: a person on £20k in London pays the very same tax as a person on £20k in Cornwall. As was a similar comment on the price of bread in London and in Cornwall is the same.

I have blogged before on the shocking difference of pay in Cornwall compared to other parts of the UK. If regional pay is ever allowed to come into force it will harm Cornwall in many ways including the difficulty in attracting or retaining a skilled workforce. Also with less pay, it will mean less money going into the Cornish economy. That outcome speaks for itself.

During the debate, I spoke on this subject asking my fellow Councillors to put aside party politics and stand united as representatives of the whole of Cornwall to send a clear message to the Government that regional pay is not welcome in Cornwall. I summed my words on the debate with:

Regional Pay is not about fair pay, but cutting pay.

It is not often that the overwhelming majority of Councils from all the political corners stand behind a motion, but today they did. No-one voted again this motion, but a few Councillors abstained.

Now, Cornwall Council will lobby the Government by letter, or other means to make sure regional pay is never implemented. Well done to Councillor’s Hannaford and Folkes for bringing this motion to the council.


  • David Edwards

    Ok ill play devils advocate here:

    The important thing missing from the above is that this is about Regional Public Sector Pay, those in the private sector (as you previous blog entry says) are already subject to regional pay. I also suspect that Cornwall council workers in some more general roles get paid no more than locals in the private sector. The main just of regional public sector pay is that some government professions like teaching, nursing, police, maybe senior council roles get paid a national rate often dictated and negotiated by unions.

    So “it will harm Cornwall in many ways including the difficulty in attracting or retaining a skilled workforce” should say public sector workforce.

    And “Also with less pay, it will mean less money going into the Cornish economy. That outcome speaks for itself;” should reference that maybe with a lower public sector wage bill to finance there will be more money staying in the (private sector) Cornish economy.

    Im not saying that I want a Doctor or Nurse who looks after me to be “underpaid”, or the teacher who teaches my Child come September. Just that this is about the regional discrepancy between public and private sector pay, not simply “regional pay”, who knows if house prices are the main measure used to scale the pay maybe the public decor workers will, be better off and maybe thats good for everyone.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Dear Grumpy and David,

    You both make some valid points. However, on average in Cornwall a worker (part and full time) is paid 19% less than the national average, but pays 13% more for a house. My worry with regional pay is this will be result in less pay than other areas, but still doing the same job.

    How would Cornwall attract skilled public sector workforce. For instance, a Social Worker in Cornwall starting out was (this was changed) paid £2k less than an equivalent in Plymouth/Devon. This resulted in difficulty in attracting and keeping staff.

  • Michelle Davey

    Drives me crazy that people argue that public sector workers should be paid less because they think we get more than they do, firstly because it’s a fallacy, and secondly because two wrongs don’t make a right. If you think you should be paid more then flipping well fight for it. That’s what we’re doing. Rant over.

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