The STUC has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution today (18th December), to raise a number of serious questions around the proposals on public sector pay and the reductions in non-domestic business rates.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:
“As the dust settles on Mr. Mackay’s draft budget, it has become clear that many public services and public workers have not received the protection they need.
“The Scottish Fiscal Commission’s report reveals that his proposed pay policy will cover only 50% of all public workers in Scotland. It completely excludes most local government workers who are amongst the lowest paid in the sector.
“Indeed, the potential benefit to the Scottish Budget of increasing pay for all public workers was not calculated by the Commission. They were even unable to model the impact for the 50% of workers who will receive very modest pay rises, because the Scottish Government did not provide the information in time to make the calculations.
“The Fiscal Commission states that the economic impact of cutting non-domestic rates for businesses is considered insignificant and will not have any impact on the Scottish economy.
“We have long made the case that investing in the pay of public service workers can have a positive economic impact and this is implicitly accepted by the Scottish Fiscal Commission. There is no evidence that reducing business rates has a positive socio-economic impact. Until that evidence exists, this should not be assumed.
“The STUC will be working with parties across the Chamber in 2018 to ensure that the final budget is one which provides the funding for an above RPI wage increase for all public workers and substantial investment in our public services.”
ENDS For more information please contact Helen Martin or Dave Moxham on 0141 337 8100