Len Shackleton appeared on Radio 4's Woman's hour to discuss regional pay bargaining.
Regional pay is just one of a number of measures which the government is considering to make the labour market more flexible with a view that eventually more jobs will be created in the private sector. Len argued that the fundamental issue about regional pay is that there are big differences to the living costs between various parts of the UK. For example, £100 in Aberystwyth is only equal to £88 in Exeter due to the cost of living.
He also argued that such a policy wouldn't have much impact on the gender pay gap. Some women will gain and some will relatively lose, but no one is talking about cutting pay; it is a matter of differential pay increases.
Ultimately there is a shortage of public funds and we have to ensure they're used effectively. Sooner or later the government is going to have to address the supply-side of the economy. Moreover, If pay falls in certain regions it might lead to investment as it would become more profitable for firms to invest, thus having a long-term positive effect.
Listen here. Segment starts at 01.02.