Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith pledged the STUC to coordinate a Scotland-wide campaign against measures announced in the emergency budget which will hit the poor hardest and offers little hope for young people or the future”.
“This budget is unwise and unfair. It will hit the poor hardest, offers little hope for young people and is likely to fail in its central purpose of reducing the deficit. Neither softer language nor the fig-leaf of Lib-Dem support can hide the fact that this is a largely ideological budget hiding behind the fallacy there is only one path to deficit reduction. And of course, the Coalition’s central argument that cuts are required now to appease the markets doesn’t stand up to the merest scrutiny.
“There is a better way to tackle the deficit. Economic recovery can be sustained but only an employment-led economic strategy which protects the worst-off and the services on which they rely. We now know that as consequence of this budget economic growth will be lower and unemployment higher. The statement was bereft of anything amounting to economic development strategy.
“The Chancellor needed to ensure that fair taxation was at the heart of the plan to tackle the deficit and despite the modest progress on allowances and welcome changes to the capital gains tax regime, the fundamental unfairness remains - the poor will pay too much the rich will pay too little and billions will continue to go uncollected.
“Raising VAT and cutting core services amounts to a direct attack on the poorest in society. The public sector pay freeze amounts to a real terms wage cut – including for those the lowest paid who the Chancellor purported to protect.
“Today’s localised protests against the emergency budget will make way for a coordinated campaign in Scotland of opposition to these proposed cuts, running up to the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year. STUC intends to mobilize a campaign across Scotland to show that there is a better way to deal with the deficit based on growth through protecting jobs and services and justice through fair taxation and living wages.”
For further information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100