Speaking ahead of STUC Congress 2014, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary stressed that the economic recovery has yet to translate into higher wages and greater job security. He said:
“On an almost daily basis Government is releasing good news stories on the economy that simply can’t be reconciled with the real-life experiences of the vast majority of Scotland’s citizens. Workers have experienced a collapse in real wages unprecedented in modern times while job security has crashed. People in and out of work have to cope with a deliberate and sustained attack on their already meagre living standards.
“The STUC’s analysis of the recent Budget and associated papers confirms that the recovery is fragile and unbalanced in its composition. It is of course weak on historical and international comparisons. No amount of sophistry can hide the fact that the Chancellor has failed to meet his 2010 forecasts on growth, pay, investment, trade and the public finances by a huge margin.
“Despite raising its growth forecasts for this year and next, the OBR’s analysis is profoundly pessimistic: neither net trade nor the Budget’s supply side measures will make any contribution to growth over the forecast period. Instead the consumer will continue to drive growth with consumption funded by a falling savings ratio rather than strong income growth. House price inflation will continue to outpace income growth and household gross debt to income will spring back to pre-2008 levels by 2018. Real GDP per capita will not reach its pre-crisis peak until 2017; employment per capita sometime thereafter. There is simply no evidence of economic rebalancing.
“The improvement in the Scottish labour market is real but much too slow, condemning too many people to long spells of unemployment. Employment growth has stalled and remains significantly below pre-recession levels. Those jobs that are being created are often low wage and insecure.
“STUC Congress will discuss and debate a different economic agenda: one that would tangibly improve the living standards of ordinary people in and out of work. We look forward to vigorously campaigning with this agenda through the course of 2014 and beyond”.
For further information contact
Stephen Boyd 0141 337 8100