With the recent announcement by the Chancellor that public sector pay will be determined by the general economic state of the region, I managed to catch the Radio 5 Live debate featuring Owen Jones and Edwina Currie.
Their respective statements were to be expected; Owen reiterated many of the points from his book about poorer areas being demonised, and Edwina unrolled the typical Tory spin about SMEs being the best route to economic recovery.
The problem with this policy should be obvious; not only will it take money straight out of local economies, depriving businesses of cyclical revenue when they need it most, it will also isolate wealth in already affluent areas of the country.
One caller on the show noted that should a teacher wish to move from say, the North-East to London, even though they would be perfectly experienced as to take up a new role, they simply wouldn’t be able to afford the change in residence.
Not to mention the obvious inequalities this will create as public sector workers all across the country, all doing the same important roles, will be paid differently just because regional economies are different. This will of course instigate even further stagnation of those economies.
It was the blitzkrieg of Thatcher’s government to associate wealth with jobs based on their blind idea of aspiration, and now the new wave of Conservatives want to take this even further and say that unless you live in certain parts of the country, you don’t deserve a decent living.
I tried to raise a question with Edwina about whether encouraging SMEs over the public sector was such a good idea, seeing as SMEs work to profit whereas public sector services have tangible transferable qualities which benefits the community.
My call, however was not picked. I assume Radio 5 had fulfilled it’s quota of borderline-pubescents for one show.