“It’s time for the Chancellor to kick-start the economy and stop kicking the public sector” says UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis. In an Alternative Budget, the union is warning that the Government’s mono-policy of cuts and more cuts is a road to …

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“It’s time for the Chancellor to kick-start the economy and stop kicking the public sector” says UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis.

In an Alternative Budget, the union is warning that the Government’s mono-policy of cuts and more cuts is a road to nowhere and what’s needed is fresh thinking to set the country on a course towards building confidence and growth.

The document says government needs to start creating jobs and investing in the infrastructure and services our economy needs.

Analysis commissioned by UNISON and the TUC shows:

• an average household uses £21,000 of services per year, but these cuts mean a reduction in living standards equivalent to around 8% of their income

• the poorest households are even harder hit, facing cuts worth 29.5% of their income – fifteen times more than the richest. In addition, benefit cuts will push almost 1 million people into poverty – 300,000 of them children

• women are hit disproportionately – bearing 75% of the adverse changes to tax and benefits, as primary carers and users of public services, and a majority of the public service workforce hit by job losses and pay cuts.

UNISON says the government’s pay policy should be reversed and tax and benefit changes that reduce the incomes of those on low to middle incomes shelved.

Dave Prentis said: “[Prime Minister] Cameron should have strong words with the Chancellor following his visit to the US.

President Obama has shown that you can build the economy by investing in jobs and infrastructure.  And Vince Cable hit the nail on the head by describing the Chancellors efforts on economic growth as “piecemeal’.

“Instead of pursuing his mono-policy of cuts and even thinking of tax breaks for the rich, Osborne should look at how investment creates a virtuous circle.

Creating more jobs takes people off benefits, renews consumer confidence and spending which in turn boosts small businesses and powers economic growth.

“Fairer taxation would be a good start with the money raised being re-invested in creating jobs and homes. Significant sums could be raised without affecting the incomes of the majority, if the government made sure the financial sector and the super-rich paid their fair share.”

The union is arguing that the Chancellor does have a number of popular options available to him to help kick-start the economy.

It estimates between £35bn and £70bn could be raised each year by tackling tax evasion by individuals, companies and other organisations – such as the £6bn HMRC let Vodafone off paying.

In addition, if the Government dropped their hugely unpopular Health and Social Care Bill they could save £1bn, which could be invested in patient care, not creating a profitable private sector market.


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