Responding to today’s Conservative Government Budget statement Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), said:
“Despite presiding over the slowest recovery on record, the Chancellor continues to pursue the very austerity policies which have failed to effectively tackle the deficit whilst cutting public spending on desperately needed public services.
“Real wages are still almost 10% below pre-recession levels and the proliferation of low paid service sector employment relying on below Living Wage pay and zero-hours’ contracts is undermining the security of hundreds of thousands of workers.
“The Chancellors so-called National Living Wage, pitched at £7.20 next year, will be nothing of the kind and is simply a cheap gimmick aimed at undermining the successful work we have undertaken to promote a meaningful Living Wage that genuinely helps people out of in work poverty.
“Despite the statement that Britain deserves a pay rise, this will not be the case for many low paid public sector workers with the continuation of a public sector pay cap. This is another kick in the teeth for hard working public service workers.
“The most vulnerable will continue to suffer most and we have little confidence that measures announced today to help young and disabled people back into work will be any more successful than in the past. The Government appears to be relying once again on sanctions to get vulnerable people to accept precarious employment instead of proper support to help people access permanent and sustainable employment.
“It is simply grotesque that the Government should be handing out tax-cuts to the inheritors of millions whilst embarking on a further programme of cuts to benefits.
Contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100