STUC calls on Chancellor to defy the deficit hawks

December 8th 2009

Speaking in advance of tomorrow’s Pre Budget Report (PBR), Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:

“It is no exaggeration to say that tomorrow’s announcement could prove to be a pivotal moment in the economic history of the country. The choices contained in the PBR will largely determine whether the recovery is strong and sustainable or weak and transient.

“The STUC recognises that the Chancellor must set out a credible path towards fiscal consolidation. But it would be dangerously irresponsible to make deficit reduction the centrepiece of the PBR while the economy remains so fragile.

“Instead the PBR should focus on jobs and sustainable growth by maintaining a small discretionary stimulus of around 1 to 1.5% of GDP over the next year. The priority must be to keep people in jobs and to provide effective assistance to the newly unemployed. Allowing youth unemployment to develop into a legacy of persistent economic inactivity is not only socially unacceptable, it will be a huge drain on the public purse in years to come.

“Further moves towards a genuinely progressive taxation framework are also necessary. Exceptional interventions were warranted to rescue the banks and the public is right to demand an exceptional windfall tax on bonuses to help pay for them”.

ENDS For further information contact

Stephen Boyd 0141 337 8100

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