TUC comments on the budget

By agency reporter
November 22, 2017

The Trades Union Council (TUC) analysis of official figures published for today's budget shows that wages are now set to be worth £800 less per year in 2021 than had been expected at the budget in March.

The TUC also warns that investment measures in the budget are far below what is needed to boost growth, get wages rising, and get Britain fit for Brexit.

Capital investment is set to peak at 2.9 per cent of GDP, and average 2.8 per cent of GDP, across the current parliament to 2022. This will leave if far short of the OECD average of 3.5 per cent of GDP.

On wages, the TUC General Secretary, Frances O'Grady, said: "The news for workers gets worse and worse. Their wages are set to be worth hundreds of pounds less than the government thought in the coming years. This budget won't give Britain the pay rise it so badly needs."

On investment, she added, "The Chancellor's job today was to get Britain's economy fit for Brexit. But what he announced falls far short of the investment boost the economy needs. And it leaves us trailing our competitors.

"The government must urgently up its game, or life outside of the EU will be a rough ride for working people. Investment must be targeted at the big sectors of the future, like low-carbon industry. And it must be directed towards communities that are most in need of more and better jobs."

On changes to Universal Credit, she added,"Making people wait less for Universal Credit is a small step forward, but big changes are needed or working people will be left thousands of pounds a year worse off. If the Chancellor can afford tax cuts for big business, he can afford to help working families."

On public sector pay, Frances O'Grady said, “The Chancellor had almost nothing to say to hard-working public servants, who are facing a real pay cut for the eighth year in a row. Public sector workers are a team. The Chancellor has raised hopes in the NHS, but has left other public sector workers out in the cold. The Chancellor should have done the right thing, and properly funded a real pay rise across the public sector.”

* TUC https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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