Opening four days of debate at the 155th Trades Union Congress in Liverpool today (Sunday) with a motion on the importance of investment in public services, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:
“After 13 years, not a single part of our public services have been immune from Conservative cuts. Years of austerity have left services reeling.
“The longest NHS waiting lists in history, huge cuts to police forces and councils going bust. Care services are unable to deliver for patients, their families, or the workforce, but generate huge profits for offshore private equity trusts.
“Inmates are escaping overcrowded prisons and unsafe schools are crumbling, although you can bet Eton, Winchester and Harrow won’t be among them.
“The blame for all this belongs firmly at the door of the government in Westminster.
“Workers across all public services, and everyone who relies on them, can see austerity has fractured and smashed the economy.
“After more than a decade of Conservative failures in Westminster, living standards are lower and the country poorer.
“Britain is broken. When spending is slashed, services crumble. Now the austerity chickens are coming home to roost.
“This is the most venal, corrupt, inept government I can remember. One only concerned with boosting the profits of offshore companies and private equity firms.
“Ministers have been determined to cut public services. When public servants demand pay increases, the government accuses them of risking higher inflation. But it’s not public sector wage rises that cause costs to spiral.
“Tax loopholes for oil and gas giants, booming corporate profits and tax cuts for the wealthiest are what drives inflation.
“To grow the economy, deliver better living standards and fix Britain, strong public services are essential.
“As the general election approaches, the focus must be on how working life can be made better by a Labour government.
“The British public must never forget it’s the Tories who caused all the chaos and choked the economy.”
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.
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