"The introduction of regional pay is an ideological attack, beset with pitfalls," said Dai Hudd, Deputy General Secretary of the union representing 34,000 professionals in government departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies. "Specialist civil servants, who are much in demand, work in national and international markets, not regional ones.
"They will simply be encouraged to move jobs and regions, in order to receive higher pay rates, leading to skills shortages in key areas.
"The government's own statistics already show that skilled individuals with a degree or equivalent qualification in the public sector earn on average 5.7% less than their counterparts in the private sector, so there is no sense in this policy.
"It will also have a negative impact on local economies, by taking even more money out of depressed areas."
Prospect's own report Government That Can – needs people who know how revealed last week that since 1992 the pool of qualified technologists working for government in defence, transport, energy, research, environment, food, justice and overseas has fallen 78%, from almost 36,000 to 8,100.
ONS data published in July 2011 revealed that those with the highest level of education (a degree or equivalent) earn on average 5.7% less than employees in the private sector.