1 min read

Editor’s blog Sunday 16 May 2010: First blow of the pay axe falls at the top

Those of you who have ever swung an axe to split a log will know the Newtonian rule that you start at the top.

Self-styling "Liberal Conservative" David Cameron used his first appearance as PM on BBC1"s Andrew Marr Show to confirm that he understands this principle, announcing the appointment of Work Foundation boss and author Will Hutton to review top public sector pay rates.

More details can be found here, on The Observer.

Given the title of Hutton's latest book, there may be a higher-than-usual buying of the Sunday Times today.

This website has long thought that NHS pay is likely to be cut. It is the single way you could save a lot of money quickly.

It would of course be very unpopular, and cuts below a certain level (Alan Maynard has suggested £20,000) would be clearly unfair. Above that point, the cuts should be graduated.

Yet if it were understood as a choice of the lesser of two evils between pay cuts and job cuts, the potential damage from the former - though by no means negligible - is less.

Oh, and here, perhaps predictably in The Sunday Times, is the first softening-up for the 'we've found that the books are much worse than we expected'.