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GMB On Today's Budget

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

GMB Condemn Budget That Does Nothing For Members In The NHS And Care Sector

A failed plan from a failed Chancellor who doesn't live in the real world says GMB.

GMB commented on the budget and responded to the Chancellor George Osborne's warning that “storm clouds are gathering' by laying the blame squarely at the doorstep of Number 11. After 6 years with an austerity Chancellor, there is no one else to blame, the government’s plan has failed.

GMB – who represents thousands of workers who are worse off every time the Chancellor takes to the despatch box – condemned measures that will:
 

  •   See further annual cuts of £3.5 billion by 2020, while continuing with the crippling £22 billion of 'efficiency savings' in the NHS
     
  •   Completely ignores the crisis in care while continuing with the crippling £22 billion of 'efficiency savings' in the NHS
     
  •   Introduce yet another cut in corporation tax for the wealthiest companies at the same time as cutting support for those with disabilities, showing exactly where his priorities lie
     
  •    Force all primary and secondary schools to convert to academies by 2022, in effect outsourcing the education of our young people and removing local, democratic accountability from education

The reality of the economy is that:

  •   While the Chancellor loses sleep over his deficit figures, thousands of people are paying their bills on a credit card or through pay day lenders. The UK population owes a total of £1.46 trillion pounds. Most working people would love to     save for a rainy day; it's a luxury they can't afford.
     
  •   Boasts about employment figures ignore the reality of the working world - growing insecurity and the use of zero hour contracts on the rise
     
  •   Our manufacturing industry still hasn't recovered to 2008 levels and our steel industry that is being allowed to sink without a trace
     
  •   Warm words on a budget for the next generation aren't matched by fair pay for young workers - the national minimum wage increase announced in this budget don't come close to the living wage people need to live on.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said “The Chancellor has missed so many of his own economic targets that in the real world of work he’d have been laid off long ago. It's like setting your own test questions but still managing to fail the exam.

He tried to balance the books on the backs of working people and at the expense of our public services - it hasn't worked, it won't work and it's wrong. By clinging to his failed austerity policies he's not only making life harder for thousands of people in the here and now, he's putting the future of UK jobs, skills and industry at risk.

To say this was a budget for future generations is laughable when this Chancellor has presided over policies that have seen the trebling of university tuition fees and removal of maintenance grants, the scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance for working class kids and an axe taken to the further education sector that we need to equip people for the changing world of work.”

End

Contact: Brian Strutton on 07860 606137 or Kamaljeet Jandu on 07956 237178 or Martin Smith on 07974 251722 or Lisa Johnson 07900 392228 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691

Notes to editors

Budget at a glance:

Growth forecasts revised down for the next 3 years. Forecast down to 2% from 2.4% in the Autumn Statement

·    Outlook for global economy is "materially weaker" and UK "not immune" to slowdown elsewhere
 

·    Inflation of 0.7% forecast for 2016
 

·    Additional £3.5 billion of spending cuts will be made by 2019/20
 

·    Debt targets to be missed. Forecast debt as a share of GDP revised up in each of the next five years to 82.6% in 2016-17 and 81.3%, 79.9%, 77.2%, 74.7% in subsequent years
 

·    Corporation tax, currently at 20%, will be cut to 17% by 2020
 

·    Sugar tax on the soft drinks industry will be imposed in two years time
 

·    Tolls on the Severn Crossings between England and Wales are to be halved by 2018
 

·    Moves towards greater devolution, with new powers over the criminal justice system given to Greater Manchester and the creation of more elected mayors in Southern England. Greater London Authority to retain all business rates by April 2017
 

·    All schools in England to become academies by 2022
 

·    The go-ahead was given to HS3 between Manchester and Leeds, the creation of a new four lane M62 motorway between Manchester and Sheffield and an upgrade of the A66 and A69, and Crossrail 2 rail link for Greater London will be commissioned
 

·    An increase of 0.5% in Insurance Premium Tax to raise £700m for flood defences
 

·    Fuel duty is frozen for the sixth year in a row, while duty on beer, cider, whisky and other spirits will also be frozen
 

·    Isa limit will increase to £20,000 a year for everyone, and a new lifetime Isa will be created for under-40s with the Government to boost savings by 25%
 

·    40% tax threshold will rise from £42,385 to £45,000 in April 2017, Tax-free personal allowance to rise to £11,500 in April 2017

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