Public pay may vary by region

GEORGE Osborne wants public sector pay levels to vary by region, reflecting the local labour markets and the cost of living in each area.

The move is intended to reduce costs to the taxpayer and increase flexibility, while giving workers in the same jobs similar standards of living across the country.

However, unions disagree on the basis that it may leave some workers with reduced pay settlements and slash wages, and so consumer spending, in the poorest areas.