Labour whip Phil Wilson may have wondered into a bit of recess bother — with large sections of a blog published today on Progress appearing to be lifted directly from a piece written by independent consultants in January.

The third paragraph of “Busting the regional pay myth” by Wilson:

Last year’s autumn statement said: ‘While private sector pay is set in accordance with local labour markets, public sector pay is usually set on a national basis.’ The fact is: most large, multi-site private sector companies have national pay structures, among them retailers, banks or telecom companies.

Compare this with the second paragraph of Alastair Hatchett’s blog “Growing number of myths about local pay determination”, which was published by Income Data Services (IDS).

Myth number one was asserted in the 2011 Autumn Statement which said: ‘While private sector pay is set in accordance with local labour markets, public sector pay is usually set on a national basis.’ Here is a classic example of not comparing like with like. The fact is that most large, multi-site private sector companies have national pay structures. These organisations, among them retailers, banks or telecom companies are not dissimilar to large, multi-site public sector organisations that have national pay structures.

The piece continues for some time with similar levels of direct quotation, including changed place names. Wilson references his native north east:

There is much more similarity than differences. In practice most retailers and banks that operate zonal type pay systems have national pay structures outside the south-east and London without having to set different rates for sites in Durham, Doncaster or Daventry.

Hatchett used a similar alliterative phrase — but with different cities:

There is much more similarity than difference. In practice, most of the retailers and banks that operate with zonal-type pay systems have national pay structures outside the South East that have worked well for them for some time, without seeking to differentiate between Newport, Newcastle or Nottingham.

Suffice it to say that IDS are not impressed:

When contacted by Scrapbook, the successor to Tony Blair as MP for Sedgefield offered this explanation:

“This is a complete cock-up. The Progress piece was based on something I researched for a speech earlier in the year. I must have copied and pasted from the speech without including the references to IDS.”

Wilson says he will be contacting Alastair Hatchett to apologise.

  1. Plagiarism is necessary, progress implies it!

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