Commenting on today’s Budget, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Six years of severe cuts to public spending have done little to pay down the deficit, despite the Chancellor’s promises. Yet still he insists on continuing with his failing economic experiment.
“The Chancellor’s policies have wreaked untold damage to essential community services. Local councils have already cut back so much that there’s little else that can go. Their cupboards are already bare, but still the Chancellor demands more.
“A Budget for the next generation would ensure that libraries and children’s centres weren’t being closed, and the elderly weren’t forced to endure inadequate and undignified levels of care. A budget for working people would help councils build new houses for hard-pressed families, instead of forcing them to sell their best properties to fund right to buy sales.
“The Chancellor’s willingness to ‘act now so we don’t pay later’ will jar with the thousands of public servants keeping our hospitals, schools and local councils going – despite working under intolerable pressures. Squeezed budgets and job cuts mean fewer colleagues are left to cope with ever increasing demands on services.
“If George Osborne was serious about boosting the UK’s flagging economy, he should have ended the public sector pay cap. Giving NHS, local authority, schools and police staff a much deserved pay rise would ease the squeeze on family budgets and give local economies a long overdue boost.
“But instead we’re facing at least four more years of painful cuts, cuts that will continue to hit the most deprived areas of the country the hardest.”
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