No plan in Budget from Chancellor to relieve strain on workers, claims Union

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget Statement failed to relieve the strain on workers from a further squeeze on living standards as wage growth is on course fall, GMB trade union warned today.

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget statement, the union said he neglected to support workers facing a decade of pay and had failed to provide proper funding for public services or social care.

Hammond also raised National Insurance for the self-employed, turning his back on a manifesto pledge to not increase any form of income tax. This could backfire on the Government as a large proportion of self-employed people could be seen as typical Conservative voters, and there could be a backlash in the right wing media against this move as well.

The budget could be seen to squeeze on all personal income. However,  large businesses will benefit from a corporation tax cut, increasing profits for huge multi-nationals.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary said: “The squeeze on living standards continues to put an unbearable strain on workers around the country. With wage growth predicted to fall, even more people face being dragged onto the bread line. The trouble with the government’s knock-off version of the living wage is that it’s set at a level that people can’t live on.”

“This should have been a Budget to provide a plan for fair pay and support for all workers, including for those in the public sector who’ve had an average of £9,000 pinched from their pay packets since 2010 and face losing £4,000 more in the three years ahead. Instead, the Tories showed how out of touch they are by failing to help these dedicated public servants – all the while giving tax breaks to big business.”

“Public services we all rely on are in crisis due to the cuts and underfunding over the last seven years. Nearly two thirds of adults think the cuts have gone too far, yet there is no plan coming from the Chancellor to rebuild the public services or to support those who are working in them. Instead they are ignoring what people want – and are prioritising £8.5 billion tax cuts for corporations.”

“Despite finally realising that their cuts to social care have plunged the sector into crisis, the government isn’t even offering half measures. The Kings Fund say £1.9 billion is needed next year yet the Government are making a total £2 billion available to cover three years – after over £4 billion of cuts this gives us the grand total of minus £2.5 billion since 2010. They want to be seen to care – without funding it.”

Leave a Reply