Capital Gains

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The Walrus was right to point out that the bosses are worried about the issue of London weighting (May SR).

The Economist' recently reported that NERA--an economics consultancy--had published a survey suggesting that London teachers should be claiming an allowance of more than £9,000. NERA arrived at this figure by comparing the regional pay differentials in the private sector. The government use the pay differentials in the public sector, which NERA rejects because it argues they do not accurately reflect the extra cost of hiring people in and around London.

Another important point was made by Ken Livingstone and the GLA. London faces a population increase of 700,000 in the next 15 years. This will include 100,000 extra school children, who will need an extra 130 schools to be built. With London teacher vacancy rates running at two and a half times the national average, it looks like the problem isn't going to go away. On top of this, the Police Federation has reported that despite the £6,000 allowance for the police, the flow of roughly 40 London officers a month to other forces is several times the inflow.

If our bosses realise that £6,000 is probably not enough, we should keep an eye on our union leaders to ensure they don't settle for less. We should also bear in mind that last year the DFES underspent its budget by about £1 billion. The money's there, but only a real fight will get it.

Alasdair Smith
North London