Budget must deliver on May's promise to working people, says TUC

By agency reporter
March 8, 2017

The Trades Unon Congress (TUC) has published its full budget submission, calling on the Chancellor to honour the Prime Minister’s pledge in October to “put the power of government squarely at the service of ordinary working-class people.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The Prime Minister said she would put the power of government in the service of working people. Wednesday’s budget is a key test of this promise. The Chancellor needs to announce a proper plan to raise wages and living standards.

“Teachers, nurses and other public sector workers haven’t seen a real pay rise in nearly a decade. It’s time to end the unfair pay restrictions on them.

“The UK must be ‘match fit’ for Brexit. But this won’t happen without serious investment in skills, infrastructure and public services. This must happen across the UK, not just London and the South East. With a truly ambitious industrial strategy, we can create well-paid, decent jobs in the areas that need them most.”

The TUC has published three crucial tests for the budget, calling on the Chancellor to:

  1. Get wages and living standards rising faster:
  • Giving workers more bargaining power with modern pay councils and a right for unions to enter work places
  • Rejecting George Osborne’s plan to cut Universal Credit support for low-paid workers
  • Ending George Osborne’s pay restrictions on public sector workers
  • Stopping shady employment practices like false self-employment, zero-hour contracts and gig economy jobs
  • Making sure workers can enforce their rights by abolishing employment tribunal fees
  • Putting workers on company boards, and cracking down on excessive executive pay
  • Raising the minimum wage faster
  1. Invest in infrastructure and industry:
  • Bringing the UK up to the OECD average for infrastructure investment so we are no longer trailing our competitors
  • Targeting new investment to the communities that need it most to balance the economy and share growth and opportunity beyond London and the South East
  • Using government procurement to support strategic industries
  1. Protect key public services
  • Increasing funding for health and social care so that hospitals can focus on medical treatment instead of housing people who need care
  • Revisiting the schools funding formula so that no school is a net loser

* Read the TUC budget submission here

TUC https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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