The STUC has expressed its disappointment at what effectively amounts to a real-terms pay freeze for thousands of public sector workers as the Budget offers 1% for those earning pay above £25,000 per year including most teaching staff, firefighter and civil servants.
The STUC General Secretary, Roz Foyer pointed to the real terms increase in the Scottish Budget of nearly 4% and contrasted that with today’s pay offer.
“Whilst it is right and proper that the pay of low paid workers should be underpinned, for most workers this increase is still below the budget uplift received by Holyrood from Westminster. Far too many of our key workers have been left out in the cold.
While supporting Scottish Government calls for greater borrowing powers, Foyer also questioned whether tax cuts for high earners were the right priority and whether funding for Local Government was sufficient.
“We strongly support the Scottish Government’s calls for greater borrowing powers. However, the Cabinet Secretary has managed to find wiggle room to provide £125 million in blanket tax cuts. She has also reduced income taxes for high earners – a policy that raised £51 million last year. Given this, it is deeply disappointing that she hasn’t been able to better reward key workers.
“While the Cabinet Secretary spoke about an increase in funding for Local Government, it appears this amounts to less than a 1% increase, a level that is nowhere near sufficient to cover gaping cuts to services from years of austerity.”
For more information, please contact Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, on 07891026870.