PCS says Tories’ council tax ploy shows party has no interest in protecting low and average income households


Lifting the public sector pay freeze would give the average civil servant’s household 16 times more than the saving under chancellor George Osborne’s rehashed council tax freeze announcement, the Public and Commercial Services union says.

If the government ended the pay freeze and gave inflation-proofed salary increases, it would mean the average PCS member would receive an extra GBP 1188 a year.

Osborne’s two-year council tax freeze – first promised in his 2008 Tory conference speech, and included in his party’s 2010 manifesto and the coalition agreement – would save the average household just GBP 72 a year, GBP 1.40 a week.

On top of government cuts to local authority funding, the council tax freeze will inevitably be paid for by closing libraries, care centres and cutting other essential local services.

Labour’s proposal to cut VAT from 20% to 17.5% would save the average household GBP 310 a year, GBP 6 a week.

With growth flatlining, the union says it makes no sense to suck demand out of the economy by cutting the pay of millions of public sector workers.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Savings from extending the council tax freeze are inconsequential, and dwarfed by the extra money people would have available to spend if the government ended the public sector pay freeze.

“These figures show Osborne and his fellow millionaire Tories have no interest in developing serious policies to protect low and average income households while getting our economy moving again.”

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