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COUNCILS SHOULD PAY BETTER TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY: REPORT

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Local authorities should pay better to improve productivity, Chris Pond of the Low Pay Unit told BBC Radio 4's Toda...
Local authorities should pay better to improve productivity, Chris Pond of the Low Pay Unit told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning.

A Low Pay Unit report published today says wages in local authorities are falling, compared to the private sector. A quarter of the workforce is expected to do unpaid overtime, says the report, commissioned by Unison.

Some council workers do not earn enough to afford the basic necessities, said Mr Pond. Low wages affect the services delivered. 'This is bad news for council tax payers as well as people working in local government', he said.

The private finance initiative, which is expected to be given a boost by chancellor Kenneth Clarke today, will not help, Mr Pond said.

'In terms of making the best use of resources available, it is sensible for local government to pay decent wages. That way you improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and improve the quality of service.

'If the government really is concerned about value for money for the council tax payer and not simply cutting back, then it will listen very seriously to this report'.

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