STUC on the Budget

March 8th 2017

Chancellor's tinkering with the economy will do nothing to improve security for workers

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

'Scotland and the whole of the UK is facing serious insecurity and uncertainty. Workers, as ever are bearing the brunt.

'The chancellor needed to announce an investment led budget, an end to austerity and commit to improving job security.

'He should have announced major additional funding for the hard pressed English NHS, with consequentials which would have eased the serious challenges in NHS Scotland. The additional funding for social care is little more than a sticking plaster to address a crisis. Barnett consequentials from additional social care and education are as but a drop in the ocean compared with the serial real terms cuts to the Scottish block grant.

'Again he has failed to heed the call for serious government intervention and a fund to support the offshore sector or the support that manufacturing needs. Companies and unions involved in the offshore sector all agree that urgent action is needed to support the industry. The Chancellor’s proposed action does not reflect the required urgency to address the challenges faced.

'With inflation rising, the continuing restraint on wages will hit workers hard. The new Minimum Wage rate is some £2000 per year below a Living Wage and the chancellor has again spurned to opportunity to protect precarious workers as Brexit looms. The Government's national insurance increase for the self-employed is a clear sign of its failure to regulate the gig economy.

'The public sector pay cap must be lifted along with measures to promote growth which will improve private sector pay.

'On International Women's Day, there is nothing in this budget for women who have been disproportionately affected by cuts to social security and public services.'

ENDS

For further information contact Dave Moxham Or Kevin Buchanan 0141 337 8100

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