'Welsh Government supports Wales TUC on regional pay'
'Wales TUC warmly welcomes the continuing support from Welsh Government for our campaign against regional pay. Finance Minister Jane Hutt again called on the Tory/LibDem Westminster Government to halt their damaging plans'
Question to Minister
Mick Antoniw: Minister, you will probably have seen the report on research conducted by the Wales Trades Union Congress on the consequences of regional pay for Wales. Potentially, this could take £660 million out of the Welsh economy and cost up to 10,000 jobs. As the summer approaches, could you give an indication of how the Welsh Government will maintain dialogue with the UK Government on the implications of the regional pay policy?
Response to Assembly Member
Jane Hutt: I thank Mick Antoniw for continuing to place this on the Assembly agenda. Of course, there is cross-party consensus that regional pay should be resisted. We wait, with hope and expectation, for the UK to pull back on this. Killing it off is certainly what Vince Cable has suggested. However, we have to have the evidence on this, and that is where our chief economist has been so clear. I am glad that the TUC has contributed to that evidence. Also, Vince Cable's own department, the Department Business, Innovation and Skills, has recognised that this is not an issue in terms of so-called crowding out. It has put that issue to rest. I have written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and I met with him recently in relation to our latest statement, which I made on 5 July. That statement was a research update. I will certainly keep Members informed of developments over the summer recess.