THE LATEST GDP FIGURES show growth to have been at zero in the three months to January,

Paul Nowak, TUC General Secretary, said:”To fix the economy the government needs to get on with fixing pay. Pay cuts have forced families to cut their spending. And that means businesses have fewer customers. The Chancellor must put pay rises at the heart of next week’s budget. It’s the fuel in the tank that our economy needs to get moving again.

“The other thing holding back our economy is Conservative cuts to our public services and infrastructure. If we want a stronger economy, we need stronger public services. We need healthcare, childcare, education, and transport systems that meet the needs of working families and businesses. This is the big credibility test for the government’s economic plans.”

The TUC’s budget submission called on the government to boost pay, deliver plans for strong public services and fair taxation and protect families from the cost of living emergency. Specific recommendations include:

  • Fund decent pay rises so that all public service workers get a real-terms pay rise.
  • A new funding settlement for public services, with adjusted spending plans that mitigate the impact of high inflation on departmental budgets.
  • Ensure those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share in tax. Equalise capital gains tax rates with income tax to start ensuring the fairer taxation of wealth and tax windfall gains experienced by oil and gas giants at a higher rate, removing loopholes that allow businesses to avoid paying their fair share.
  • Cancel the imminent hike in energy bills by keeping the Energy Price Guarantee no higher than £2,500 and either reduce the EPG to £2,000 or accelerate the introduction of a social tariff.
  • Introduce universal, flexible, high-quality childcare that is available to all from the point at which paid maternity or parental leave ends.

* The full set of recommendations in the TUC submision for the Spring Budget can be read here.