Commenting on the Chancellor’s comprehensive spending review today (Wednesday), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:
“This is austerity plain and simple. A decade of spending cuts left public services exposed when Covid came calling. The government is making the same disastrous mistake again.
“Going after the pay of millions will be a bitter pill for key workers getting the UK through the pandemic and out the other side.
“The Chancellor wants to pause the pay of care, school, council and other public service workers who’ve been on fast forward all year.
“Extra money in pockets gets spent locally. Less than a pound more a week for some won’t save the thousands of ailing shops and leisure, arts and hospitality venues across the country.
“Health staff have already shown they and the NHS more than deserve a rise this year. This can’t wait on a lengthy pay review body process. The government should deliver the goods now.
“Reviving the economy will take a gargantuan effort from everyone. That means investing in the entire economy, not seeking to divide and rule between the sectors. Key workers mustn’t be taken for granted and left to carry the Covid can.”
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.