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Lib Dems 'rule out' regional pay

Liberal Democrats have backed a motion calling on the government to rule out regional public sector pay.

At the party's Autumn conference in Brighton yesterday (Tuesday 25 September 2012), Liberal Dem MPs voted against any expansion in regional or local pay.

Welcoming the move, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said the vote was "pleasing".

"The introduction of local pay into the NHS would be a recipe for disaster with damaging implications for local economies and the NHS. Agenda for Change, allied to national pay rates, provides a fair, transparent system," he said.

"It allows a nurse in Norfolk to be paid the same the same as a nurse in Newcastle. It means that in any part of the country, employers know they can recruit staff with the right skills and experience to give patients the care that they need.

"We urge the pay review body in its forthcoming report to reject outright any calls for the introduction of a market-facing remit for NHS pay."

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, Stephen Williams said the party values the "dedication and hard work" of public sector workers and claims it has been made "absolutely clear" that Lib Dems want regional pay to be "ruled out altogether".