'Public-sector pay rises must be funded by productivity': Minister gives wages warning in rare appearance at TUC meeting, as survey shows wider earnings gap. Barrie Clement reports

STEPHEN DORRELL yesterday became the first government minister since the 1970s to address a TUC conference, and warned leaders of 5 million public-sector workers that there would be no pay rises without increases in productivity.

However, Mr Dorrell, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said that a freeze on the public sector pay bill would not rule out wage increases for those who earned them.

The Treasury minister's 20- minute speech was heard in silence and received polite applause. His strictures on public sector pay came 24 hours after his boss, Kenneth Clarke, Chancellor of the Exchequer, condemned excessively high pay awards in boardrooms.

Writing in Today newspaper, Mr Clarke said he disapproved of some of the high salaries paid to directors. He conceded that taxes for the highly paid had been reduced, but said that this should be borne in mind when salaries were set.

John Major and John Smith clashed in the Commons yesterday over top salaries. The Prime Minister reiterated his opposition to excessive salary increases, but said it was a matter for companies to decide.

Mr Dorrell, the first Tory minister to address a TUC meeting since Margaret Thatcher when she was Secretary of State for Education, told 300 representatives at TUC Congress House: 'Any increase in pay will have to be funded, not by increased resources, but by better efficiency within the organisation.'

He said: 'It seems self-evident to me that if the level of a service remains constant there should be no more cash provided to pay for it.' Traditional public sector pay structures had not placed sufficient emphasis on performance. 'The result has been that rewards have been linked to longevity of service rather than quality of output.' Mr Dorrell said the Government's focus was on value rather than cost, and 'customers rather than producers'.

Earlier, the minister sat impassively as John Monks, TUC general secretary, told him that unions were opposed to public services bearing the main burden of the pounds 50bn public-sector deficit.

Mr Monks, whose invitation to Mr Dorrell emphasises his determination to establish links with all political parties, said public servants were angry about last year's government-imposed 1.5 per cent limit on pay. They were also furious about cuts in services and the prospect of job losses.

During a brief question-and- answer session, John Sheldon, general secretary of the National Union of Civil and Public Servants, told the minister that morale among public service workers was at an all- time low. Alan Jinkinson, general secretary of Britain's biggest union, Unison, said: 'The combination of job losses, pay restraint and persistent cuts in services makes for an explosive cocktail.'

Mr Dorrell said later there had been 'clear points of difference' with the unions. Mr Monks said: 'He was hard and uncompromising on pay, and that did not go down well because we are feeling uncompromising as well.'

Jack Dromey, national secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, said: 'I would give Mr Dorrell 6 points for courage, 5.7 for artistic impression and nil points for content.'

(Photograph omitted)

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits