The Liberal Democrats are holding their Welsh conference in Cardiff this weekend. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will speak to delegates this morning and UK Business Secretary Vince Cable will speak this afternoon. Party leader in Wales, Kirsty Williams will close the conference tomorrow
The First Minister Carwyn Jones says he's not convinced by Vince Cable's reassurances on regional pay. The Business Secretary claims it's a scare story that the UK government will impose low pay on public sector workers across Wales.
– First Minister Carwyn Jones
He is part of a UK Government that wants to introduce regional pay for public sector workers in Wales, cutting wages in some of our poorest communities. People in Wales won’t be fooled by his weasel words.
Speaking during his visit to Cardiff, the UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has hit out at what he called 'scare stories' about the introduction of regional pay levels in the public sector. He told ITV Wales,
There's a lot of unnecessary fears about this. There's no question about average low pay across Wales being imposed by central Government... Evidence is being looked at about the different factors affecting local pay such as local scarcity and living costs. A scare story has got around that ... pay is being depressed. That's simply not true.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has said the idea that the UK government is planning to impose lower pay rates on public sector workers across Wales is a 'wild exaggeration' and that he would only support 'limited local arrangements'.
– Business Secretary Vince Cable MP
The idea that we want to impose lower pay rates on Wales is absolutely wrong.
Mr Cable is visiting Welsh companies. It's been estimated that private sector workers in Wales receive 18% less than if they were in the public sector. The Conservative Chancellor, George Osborne, has asked NHS and teachers' pay review bodies to look at the the idea of regional variations in pay
The Chancellor has also told government departments that they can consider regional pay for their civil servants. But the Business Secretary, who's a Liberal Democrat, says that the UK coalition government has reached absolutely no agreement on regional pay at the moment.