Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Statement on regional pay

Assembly Members united to condemn regional pay following a statement on the matter by Finance Minister Jane Hutt on 15 January 2012.

Ms Hutt claimed that the hard work of the Welsh government played a significant role in the UK Government's decision not to introduce the "misguided policy".

In March 2012, Chancellor George Osborne announced he was considering introducing regional rates of pay during his budget announcement.

He argued that the proposed system would save money for the Treasury and be fairer, since living costs differ across the UK.

However, on 5 December 2012 Mr Osborne announced in his autumn statement the plans would not go ahead.

Ms Hutt said her government had vehemently opposed the policy as it would not be in the best interest of the people of Wales.

"This is about doing what is right," she said.

"We as a government are committed to protecting the lowest paid, reducing poverty and reducing the gender pay gap."

Conservative finance spokesperson Paul Davies commended the work of the government's chief economist, Jonathan Price for his work in relation to regional pay.

"The Welsh Conservatives and everyone in the chamber have not seen any evidence of the benefits of introducing regional pay," he said.

He congratulated members on the cross-party "consensus" on the subject.

In the same vein, Liberal Democrat Eluned Parrot said the outcome showed "how powerful this chamber can be when it speaks with one voice."

Plaid Cymru's Alun Ffred Jones was also glad of the outcome but warned that plans for linking performance to teachers' pay are still being considered.

Ms Hutt concurred.

"We look with great concern over the border in terms of policy changes and announcements."

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