Dave Prentis slams Taxpayers’ Alliance

General secretary criticises comments on pensioner benefits as ‘despicable’

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has today (Wednesday) slammed recent remarks made by the Taxpayers’ Alliance about pensioner benefits at the Conservative conference in Manchester as ‘despicable’.

Speaking at the union’s annual retired members’ conference in Brighton, Dave Prentis said: “The comments by the Alex Wild from the Taxpayers’ Alliance are despicable. His remarks are disrespectful to the millions of pensioners who have paid more than their share in taxes down the years, helped build their communities, educated our young people, looked after the sick and the elderly, and kept our public services running.

“Our retired workers are the living history of UNISON. They are responsible for the values that union has today. Values that make the world a better place – fairness and justice in the workplace and a better society for all.

“Many of you will have grown up hearing from older members of your family what life was like before the NHS, the welfare state, or laws to protect people from being made ill by their jobs or injured at work.

“We cannot return to those dark days. And that is why we must do everything in our power to oppose this government’s attacks on the trade union rights of your ex-colleagues.

“We must also stand firm against ministers and their desire to shrink the state so drastically through harsh spending cuts that those healthcare and local services that remain are provided by private firms, whose only motive is profit.

“We must also oppose the unfair cuts to tax credits that will be hitting millions of your younger family members across the country. Cuts so harsh that some working families will lose as much as £50 a week next April.”

UNISON represents more than170,000 retired public sector workers who play an active role in the union’s democratic machinery at all levels – from local branches to the union’s national executive committee.

UNISON media contacts:

Fatima Ayad T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07508 080383  E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk