Ahead of this afternoon’s Budget statement (October 27) from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, in no uncertain terms, that workers must not be made to pay the price for the pandemic.
“Workers are exhausted by this crisis,” she said. “They need to hear, loud and clear from the Chancellor that they will not be made to pay the price for the pandemic.
“As things stand that’s far from the case. Banks have had their profits protected, but workers face tax hikes and rising living costs – and those made super-rich by this pandemic are not being made to pay their way. Taxing the bin workers, but not the boardroom is the not the way forward for our country.
‘Public services are at breaking point’
“Our public services are at breaking point following years of cuts and wage assaults. If the Chancellor’s figures are found to be a combination of re-announced money and misleading claims that will be an insult to workers and service users. We need a real change of direction to build high quality universal public services which treat their workers with respect.”
New investment was what was needed. Sharon continued, “We also need to see comprehensive investment to secure and create jobs in the private sector. Industries that are suffering now will need immediate short-term support.
‘No options for bosses to take money and run’
“Workers will also need to see longer term investment in new infrastructure and high quality training. And government money must be tied to nailed-on job guarantees – there must be no options for bosses to take the money and run.”
She concluded, “This budget needs to invest for the future, to protect workers that will keep the economy running, to support our communities and to build a bridge to the green, safe and decent jobs of tomorrow.”
By UNITElive team
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