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GUMMER WARNED OVER PAY RISES

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Unaffordable pay rises for police and teachers will force redundancies and service cuts, the leaders of the five En...
Unaffordable pay rises for police and teachers will force redundancies and service cuts, the leaders of the five English local authority associations warned the government on Tuesday.

In a meeting with Environment Secretary John Gummer at the end of the consultation period on the 1994-95 spending settlement they said pay levels would have an 'enormous impact' on services. Mr Gummer confirmed there was no extra money for teachers' pay included in the total standard spending figure for education.

The associations are worried the DoE and the Department for Education are singing different tunes, because Education Secretary John Patten has emphasised to the teachers' pay review body that the government has increased total standard spending for education by 2.4% next year.

A survey by the Local Government Management Board on what provision councils are making for pay increases is due to report around May. Among the other issues discussed with Mr Gummer, the associations argued poorer households were being hit hardest by the phasing out of transitional relief for people whose tax bills rose sharply when the council tax was introduced. While the number of band A households getting transitional relief will drop from 310,000 to 60,000 in 1994-95, the number of band H households only drops from 110,000 to 100,000. By last Friday 30 councils had had meetings confirmed with ministers about their standard spending assessment for the coming year, 10 of which were counties.

Others included Harlow DC, which has perennial capping limit problems and is one of seven councils which has to make a cash cut in its budget. Former capping victim Greenwich LBC also sent a delegation to the DoE even though its SSA has jumped by 7.6% for the coming year.
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