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Cutting to pay the wages bill

"Cuts, what cuts?" Keir Bloomer, director of education in Clackmannan, asked. The veteran union and Strathclyde education official points out that the pound;2.5 million of cuts in Clackmannan's first three budgets have been approximately equal to the cost of wage increases.

"Cuts are almost entirely the result of decisions not to accept successive governments' guidance that any wage increases should be met from productivity gains," Mr Bloomer said. "This is not to accept Government thinking but merely to point out the consequences of departing from it."

Raising charges and cutting property costs has contributed to half of Clackmannan cuts to date, passing on the burden to consumers but protecting the chalkface.

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