Chancellor George Osborne announced the Government are planning to scrap national pay rates for public sector workers to bring pay into line with the private sector. Wages in Solihull and much of the West Midlands are currently considered to be six per cent too high.
Employee salaries are set to be frozen so they fall over time in real terms as a result of inflation, with the money used to increase salaries for medical workers in the south.
Councillor David Jamieson (Lab, Kingshurst & Fordbridge) said: “It’s truly ridiculous to try and use localised pay.
“Areas vary so much, you can’t possibly have one blanket pay scale and be fair to everyone within a region- it’s absurd.
“It’s outrageous and in Solihull, workers will face the biggest difficulty in the West Midlands because general living costs here are just that bit higher.”
Secondary school teachers and paramedics were also likely to be targeted for cuts, the budget statement revealed.
However, central Birmingham will be exempt from the regional pay cut after it was identified as a ‘hotspot’ where pay will be the highest.
A spokeswoman for UNISON said the trade union was planning to raise the issue with central government.
“At a time when parts of the country are struggling with unemployment and failing businesses, taking more money away from public sector workers is bad news all round,” she said.
“It’s taking money away that could be spent improving the economy in local shops, cafes, hairdressers.
“When people are starting the third year of a pay freeze, it’s hard enough just to try and put food on the table and pay rising bills. “