It’s official: Osborne threatens Double Austerity

      Sheffield Trade Union Council today slammed George Osborne’s budget statement for promising massive austerity cuts at twice the rate we have seen so far. “Now no one can be left in any doubt what working people will face if the Tories get to form a new Government after the election on May 7th” said Martin Mayer STUC Secretary.   Commenting in response to today’s budget statement, Martin said “We have had enough of Austerity which has caused the biggest decline in living standards in living memory whilst the top 10% have enjoyed a massive increase in wealth* It’s no accident that real wages have fallen by almost 10% since the last election, that benefits for both those in work on low incomes or out of work and struggling to find a job saw their benefits cut – or worse had them stopped for arbitrary reasons under this Government’s vicious benefits sanctions regime. Food banks and pauper funerals plague this country. More and more workers are only able to find part time zero hours jobs on the minimum wage. With massive doubling of cuts to come, the future looks bleak indeed under the Tories for every working class person.”   What’s more austerity isn’t working. The Government’s budget deficit – caused by the cost of bailing out the banks in 2008 – fell faster under the last two years of the Labour Government (when no cuts were made) than in the last five year under Austerity when Osborne announced £80B cuts. “There is an alternative” said Martin Mayer. “Trade unions are calling for public spending increases in our infrastructure and sustainable growth to create 1 Million climate change jobs to green our economy – plus a massive public council house building programme. That’s what people need – not more austerity spending cuts. This could be funded by reclaiming just some of the estimated £120B of missing taxes evaded or avoided by big business and our rich elite every year!” said Martin Mayer. “Growing the economy puts people back to work and increases the tax income to the Treasury whilst reducing the cost of supporting poverty. Raising incomes by making the Living Wage the new minimum and encouraging trade union collective bargaining to raise wages across the economy will massively reduce the benefits bill, whilst a million new council homes at genuinely affordable rents will slash the bloated housing benefit bill. ” said Martin Mayer. “That’s a much better plan to reduce the deficit – and get Britain workin g again” he said.   * Millionaires benefited from an average £107,000 per year tax rebate when the top rate of tax was reduced; and big business had a bonanza when Corporation Tax was slashed from 28% to 21%. Meanwhile the hike in VAT to 20% hit working class people harder than the rich because the poorer you are the higher percentage of your income is spent on goods and services carrying VAT.   Secretary; Martin Mayer UNITE                                      President: Bob Jeffery UCU Tel: 0747616453         website:       email: Sheffield Trade Union Council Front Door Letterbox Trades and Labour Club 200 Duke Street Sheffield S2 5QQ