31 July 2010

I have set out previously the Tory and now Tory-Libdem proposals to end national rates of public pay and benefit.

These three posts explore this:

Tories eye benefits and wages in Cornwall

Vote Tory today, cry tomorrow

Tory-Libdems to localise NHS pay in Cornwall which refers to paragraph 4.36 in the NHS white paper Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS of July 2010.

The Department for work and pensions (DWP) has now published a consultation paper, 21st century welfare, which has a brief section on “localism” in chapter 4 paragraphs 8-9. This localism is not simply about more local discretion in administration but also about the rates of benefits. Read the arguments in this article in the Independent of 31 July.

Should benefits in Cornwall, for example, be lower than in areas like London with higher costs of living? Answering a similar question on Radio 4 the DWP secretary of state said, “We want to talk to people from different areas to see whether or not they would prefer that.” The DWP would like to hear from you.

ADDENDUM 3 August 2010
This post on the Liberal Conspiracy blog shows that, contrary to a claim in chapter 2 paragraph 9 in the DWP consultation paper, welfare payments do reduce the gap between the richest and poorest, do reduce income inequality.