“Osborne is out of ideas and should be out of a job. His Budget announcement today acknowledges that the country is in desperate need of economic stimulus, but his pride is getting in the way of delivering the shot needed. Even traditional Tory supporters have warned him, that he is on the wrong road, but his too little, too late Budget is a sign that his ego is bigger than his concern for the people of this country ” said UNISON chief Dave Prentis, following today’s Budget.
The union accused the Chancellor of “fiscal inertia” and of using a few budget sweeteners to disguise the elephant in the room – the enormous damage being caused by his own Government’s cuts agenda.
Cutting Whitehall budgets further will simply lead to the loss of more services that the millions of people rely on with little gain for the country as a whole. Reversing the tax cut for millionaires would have been a much fairer way to raise revenue. “It’s Bleak house for the majority but the minority get to party on.”
Dave Prentis, went on to say:
“The Chancellor is clearly bankrupt of ideas. His bleak austerity agenda and fiscal inertia is leading to stagnation, robbing the country of the Government’s prized AAA rating and tipping it towards a triple dip recession.
“Attacking public services is the Chancellor’s default setting. Osborne talks about supporting people with aspirations but does exactly the opposite. He is attacking pay progression that is designed to reflect workers’ aspirations – doing more training, gaining skills and experience and demonstrating commitment to their jobs to get to the top of their grade.
“On top of the three-year public service pay freeze workers will now have their pay pegged to 1% until 2015/16 – what does that say about giving people aspirations?
“Osborne can’t dig the country out the hole he has made – more cuts are not the answer to revitalising the economy.”
The union further criticised the Chancellor for missing a golden opportunity to make a real difference to struggling families by reversing the three-year freeze on child benefit. The government’s decision to cut the 50p rate of tax would hand the 13,000 millionaires in the UK an average of £97,884.62 next year, at a cost to the Treasury of £1,272.5 million. If this tax had been collected, it could have funded an increase to child benefit – in line with CPI inflation – for the first two children in every family, effectively helping 12,049,360 children in nearly 8 million families.