LIB DEM MPs LINE UP AGAINST REGIONAL PAY
Following the cold water poured on proposals for regionally adjusted pay for public sector workers by Nick Clegg local MP John Pugh has sought to stiffen opposition by co-ordinating Liberal Democrat opposition to the proposals. Southport's MP is behind a letter sent to the Guardian on behalf of 22 Lib Dem MPs including former party leader Charles Kennedy criticising the idea .
John told us:
"It is important to note that opposition goes beyond this group as we did not even approach the 25 MPs who have ministerial positions.- many of whom are equally uncomfortable with the idea.
We don't want to drift into a situation where it is assumed that if you live in the north you ought to get paid less.
George Osborne has started a consultation on regional pay and Labour who introduced regional pay for the court service and have proposed regional levels of benefits.
The case for all this is depressingly weak and likely to exacerbate the north/south divide. "
And so when they ask you, and they are certainly going to ask you, how the coalition is better than a Tory majority government you can tell them; thousands of public sector workers' wages in the North would have been cut without us, there would have been not tax cut for low earners, the pupil premium targetting money on the schooling of the poorest children would not have been introduced, Vince's banking reforms would not have been before parliament and Trident would have been replaced by another multi billion pound nuclear weapon (mind you Labour would have done the same as the Tories on Trident). It is not ideal but it is far better than Osborne and Fox would have done by themseleves!