Chancellor’s tinkering won’t tackle the real problems facing hard-pressed households

Failure to tackle public sector pay is outrageous

Commenting on the chancellor’s spring statement today (Wednesday) UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“The government has merely tinkered around the edges of the living standards crisis. Tweaking tax thresholds will boost the coffers of the wealthy, not provide help to those in most need.

“Promises to reduce taxes in future won’t cut the mustard with families living a financial hell now. Financial pain at the pumps won’t end with a few pence off fuel duty. Less affluent households are being driven off the roads.

“Cheaper solar panels won’t put food on the table for families worried about where their next meal is coming from. Money is tight for millions of working people across the UK, many employed in essential public services. 

“The chancellor had the wriggle room to deliver widespread relief across NHS, care, council, police and school services. It’s outrageous he chose not to.  

“Public servants that the country placed so much faith in over the past two years have been badly let down. High-quality, properly staffed public services are essential for us all. That requires investment in staff.  

“Allowing public sector pay to overtake prices won’t worsen the inflation spiral. Only real-terms wage increases will lead us out of the growing crisis.

“But faced with an effective pay cut, many key workers won’t hang around. They’ll jump ship for calmer waters where better pay can help shield them from the growing prices storm.” 

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.