Unions blast Budget and vow to fight cuts

Grant Prior 14 years ago
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Union leaders warned of industrial action in the wake of George Osborne’s budget which they painted as an attack on workers.

Alan Ritchie General Secretary of construction union Ucatt, said: “This budget is a kick in the teeth to all construction workers and their families.

“Workers are already struggling to make ends meet as they have been faced with job losses, pay freezes, pay cuts and short-term working.

“To now have to contend with cuts in tax credits and the freezing of child benefit, will make it even harder for workers and their families to stay financially afloat.”

Ritchie also blasted the Chancellor’s claim there would be no more cuts in capital spending.

He said: “It is simply not good enough for the Government to claim that there will be no further cuts in capital spending.

“The cuts the ConDem coalition have already announced were entirely unnecessary especially those relating to the building of new desperately needed social housing.

“At best this will slow the economic recovery at worst this will force the economy into a second recession”

Rail union RMT general secretary Bob Crow warned of strike action as he launched a classic tirade against Osborne’s budget.

Crow said: “ Despite all the hype about sharing the pain this is without a doubt a budget for the rich.

“The champagne corks will be popping in the City bars tonight as the bankers and speculators realise that they have got away with the biggest financial heist on the British people in the history of our nation.

“Instead of sharing the pain, it’s the poorest who take the hit while the greedy elite who drove our economy over a cliff fly off to the tax havens to bank the bail-out cash that could be used to protect jobs, schools and hospitals.

“The increase in VAT, the attacks on pensions and benefits and the pay freeze in the public sector will all hit the poorest the hardest. The VAT rise immediately hits the real cost of living hard and drains money out of the economy choking off recovery and undermining standards of living.

“We can already see the cracks opening up in the coalition as some Lib Dems start to realise that jumping into bed with David Cameron is a political suicide pact.

“We intend to lever open those cracks as part of a political fight back against this assault on the British people. There is no question that there will be widespread industrial and community resistance to the cuts agenda and RMT will be in the front line wherever people are making a stand.

“Hurting the needy and vulnerable is vintage Thatcher.”

Unite joint general secretary, Derek Simpson joined in the rant.

He said: “Osborne and Cameron’s talk of financial Armageddon is not because they have the solution to the deficit but to scare the British people into accepting the biggest attack on essential services for a generation.

“Today the mask slipped to reveal this government for what it is – Tory slashers of services and friends of the rich and powerful.
 
“Where is the promised fairness in cutting the wages of needy households yet fighting shy of closing the tax loopholes which allow the wealthy to dodge their duty to this country? And increasing VAT is reckless – it will stop people spending, harm UK business and choke off the recovery.
 
“This budget is vintage Thatcher. The Lib Dems have been conned into hammering the poor, choking off investment and cuts that risk plunging this country into a longer and deeper recession. If they do not disassociate themselves from this, then the Lib Dems will have to bear the responsibility.”

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