Credit where credit's due to George

Poor Mr. Osborne has come in for a hammering on these pages recently, so it's only fair I give him credit when he does something right. The end of national pay bargaining is long overdue. It's insanity that the wages of equally skilled nurses in Surrey and Cornwall are the same, despite the huge difference in their living costs. The effect is that the good nurses go to Cornwall where they can afford to live reasonably well in the villages around Truro, and the less able ones who can't compete for jobs in Cornwall have to suck it up in Surrey and live in dingy rented accommodation around Croydon. So if you get sick, make sure you do it in Truro.

On a practical note, of course, the current Cornwall nurses' pay isn't going to be slashed, so the levelling out is going to take a while; effective pay freezes for the areas with lower living costs, as the expensive areas rise roughly with inflation modulo supply and demand.

I realise this won't be popular with the unions, since it also makes it far more difficult to establish the conditions for a 'yes' vote on a national strike, and local strikes have far less impact. To quote Dr. Evil, "boo frickety hoo".

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