Government austerity means taking from poor to give to rich

In a hard-hitting speech at the TUC pre-budget rally today (13 March), Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, will castigate the Government for taking from poor and struggling families to give to the rich.

Since 2009, the average worker has lost £4,000, as wages fall and prices rise. And the welfare cap will have a serious impact on low-income families, while those with two children set to lose a further £1,000 by 2015. Tax credit cuts have already lost some over £2,000.  In addition the bedroom tax is set to hit 670,000 households, with disabled people and lone parents hit particularly hard.

Launching a stinging attack on the Government’s austerity agenda and its definition of income distribution, Dave Prentis will say:

“Austerity is ok if you are rich. It’s ok if you are one of the 13,000 millionaires in this country because austerity means you get richer. That’s because If you are rich, you’re in line for an extra £100,000 tax break – taken from the pockets of the poor.   £100,000 – that’s nearly 10 times the annual national minimum wage.

“Forget the shopping trolley – this Government is Robin Hood in reverse – it takes from the poor and gives to the rich.  And if you are poor; austerity means choosing between food and fuel; heat or eat.  It means begging at a food bank; being at the mercy of payday loan sharks; being forced to move out of your home.

“Cameron and his cronies still talk of fairness, about re-balancing the economy. We know that means only one thing – giving his mates in big business carte blanche to move in and make a killing out of our NHS and our public services.

“We want the Government to start thinking about the majority not the privileged few,.  To use the Budget next week to ease the pressure on working people with a package of measures designed to help them and their families stay out of debt.”

UNISON is calling for:

•              An end to the freeze and squeeze on public service workers’ pay that has seen the value of wages fall by 15% for the vast majority.

•              Instead of tax cuts for millionaires – reverse the cuts in child benefits to reflect inflation.

•              Stop the cuts to jobs and services – lift the threat of redundancy and stimulate confidence in consumer spending.
•             A future for families: A future that works – TUC pre-budget rally, Date Wed, 13 Mar 2013, Time to from 18:00, Location The Emmanuel               Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, London

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