Speaking prior the annual Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Highlands and Islands Conference (12th June, Town House, Inverness) on publication of an STUC letter to the Chancellor in advance of the emergency budget on 22 June, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:
“The content of the Chancellor’s emergency budget statement on 22 June will play a pivotal role in determining the future of the UK economy. The right choices could help embed the recovery from recession; ensuring it becomes strong and sustainable. The wrong choices could tip the economy back into recession or condemn the UK to years of stagnation and high unemployment.
“Current market prices are stubbornly refusing to support the new coalition’s claims that immediate and deep cuts are necessary to maintain credibility with global financial markets. Meanwhile current growth projections indicate that little inroad will be made into high unemployment – with its huge human and economic costs – for some years.
“In the current extremely fragile economic circumstances, it would be irresponsible to embark on the widely trailed programme of public spending cuts. It would also be counter-productive on the Chancellors own terms with spending cuts likely to increase the deficit as wages and demand fall, taxation revenues decrease and social spending rises.
“There is a better way. The Chancellor, as an absolute minimum should postpone fiscal consolidation until the recovery takes firm root. He must then rebalance consolidation away from spending cuts that will disproportionately hit the poor to long overdue tax rises for the super-rich. Properly resourced action on corporate tax evasion and avoidance is a necessity”.
For further information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100