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7:28am 22nd March 2012
(Updated 7:28am 22nd March 2012)
There is a warning regional pay deals will suck Cornwall's economy dry.
Unions fear linking public sector pay to local wage levels will drive workers away.
It would mean people like teachers and council workers getting paid less than those in places like Bristol or London.
Plans moved a step closer in the Budget.
Stuart Roden from Unison in the Duchy says, "It's going to drive people out of the county and it's also going to put people off coming in to work in Cornwall. So people are going to go off to the money unfortunately and the attraction of the beautiful countryside and the coast is going to wear a bit thin and it's going to impact on the local economy.
"It will mean people have less money to spend in the shops and the local community, going out for meals and all those sorts of things. So, it means it will knock on to the private sector in Cornwall because people just won't be able to afford to live".
Mid-Cornwall's MP Stephen Gilbert is attacking the plans too: "The budget, overall, was a welcome package – taking millions on the lowest wages out of tax and delivering a better deal for older people in their retirements, but I can’t agree with the Chancellor on the moves towards regional public sector pay.
"In Cornwall, and across the South West, we have lower than average salaries and higher than average housing costs, regional pay would institutionalise this problem and do nothing to tackle it. I will be doing all I can to oppose this move and stand up for hard-working public sector workers in Cornwall.
"We must not see a race to the bottom in pay".
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