Growth won’t happen without strong public services

Chancellor can find the money when it suits him

Commenting on the budget delivered by Jeremy Hunt today (Wednesday), UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“There are more holes in this budget than on most public highways.

“It’s funny how the chancellor can lay his hands on billions when he wants. Ministers have sounded like a broken record, insisting the country can’t afford to pay key workers more.

“Yet, in a flourish, there’s cash for another fuel duty freeze, tax cuts for those who need them least, and no action to curb the mega-profits of the oil and gas giants. But not a dickie bird on public sector pay.

“It’s meant to be a budget for growth, but allowing public services to wither away and failing to invest in the workers tirelessly delivering them will come back to haunt the government. Economies can’t thrive with weak public services.

“The government’s childcare pledges are a helpful start but no panacea. Many nurseries struggle to offer enough free hours as it is, and can’t recruit the workers to deliver extra.

“Altering the ratios so fewer minimum wage childcare staff end up looking after ever more youngsters is not the answer. Valuing the workforce with proper rates of pay to match their skills should be the order of the day.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union and the largest union in the NHS and in the ambulance sector. It has 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.

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