Commenting as the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) published its 2012 Budget Submission to the Chancellor, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:
“We are publishing this submission on the eve of release of new labour market statistics for Scotland. Whatever happens tomorrow, all credible forecasters believe unemployment will remain high and above pre-recession levels through the course of this UK Parliament.
“The real tragedy is that this is so unnecessary. The Government’s austerity programme is being steamrollered through at a time when demand is weak and unemployment high. With only 12% of planned total spending cuts implemented by the end of this financial year, austerity will continue to exert a significant drag for at least the next five years. There is no sign of a private investment boom to fill the gap.
“As our submission sets out, there is scope for a targeted and temporary stimulus focused on infrastructure investment to boost growth and jobs. Markets continue to fund UK debt at historically low yields as they have done throughout the crisis. There is very little chance of an adverse market reaction to an approach which boosted long-term economic capacity.
“Since 2008, the STUC has consistently argued that the mistakes of recessions past are being repeated. The big danger now is that a significant proportion of currently high unemployment becomes structural. This would leave a terrible human, social and economic legacy for Scotland to deal with. The Government has to act now to prevent it happening”.
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