Speaking as the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) published its letter to the Chancellor in advance of Budget 2010, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:
“With the economy continuing to face some very profound challenges, Budget 2010 will be crucially important in helping to support a recovery from recession that is robust, demand-led and sustainable.
“Scotland needs a Budget aimed at supporting its workers and communities; not one designed to appease the deficit hawks who would gladly sacrifice growth, jobs and fairness in order to have a kick at public services.
“The Chancellor must resist pressure to implement a programme of public spending cuts over the next financial year. Instead, he should examine ways in which further targeted and time limited stimulus measures can be used to embed growth. The deficit cannot be effectively tackled over the medium term unless the economy returns to sustainable growth.
“Cutting public spending in the current circumstances could push the economy over the edge. Introducing cuts now, will curtail any nascent recovery, restrict job opportunities and lay the grounds for huge costs in the years ahead, given the impact of extended periods of unemployment on individuals, families and communities. Slashing public spending may help reduce the deficit in the short-term but it will almost certainly hamper longer-term budgetary stabilization through the increase in social spending inevitably resulting from a cuts first agenda”.
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