Unions tore apart right-wing think tank Policy Exchange today after it called for national public-sector pay bargaining to be scrapped.
Policy Exchange claimed that putting government workers through the mangle would save more than £6 billion a year that could be used to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
The think tank's latest report claims that nationally set pay bands mean that public-sector workers are paid 7 per cent more than people working for private firms, rising to 14 per cent when pensions are considered.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said there were "no hard facts" in the report's "anecdotal evidence" to back up the think tank's call for savaging public-sector pay.
And Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said Policy Exchange's conclusions were "no big surprise" and called the arguments for regional pay "fundamentally flawed, and they stab at the heart of hard-earned employment rights."
He pointed to a report published last week by Incomes Data Services (IDS) that busts the myths of "premium pay" for public servants and the "crowding out" of private-sector jobs, which are central to the arguments for regional rather than national pay.
IDS noted that the public and private sector aren't after the same workers, that "crowding out" is rubbish when unemployment is high and that private pay doesn't vary that much across the country.
It also found that private firms hired and fired people regardless of what the public-sector was doing, and that government jobs support local communities.
Labour MP Jim Sheridan praised the IDS report and said it exposes the coalition's arguments for regional pay as "flawed or just plain wrong.
"Since the Tories first floated this idea I have felt that their motivations have had less to do with tackling unemployment and deficit control and more to do with advancing their long-term agenda to undermine our public services."
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