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Comments On Today's Budget
Responding to today’s (Monday 29 October) budget delivered by the chancellor Philip Hammond, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:

“Austerity is not over. Despite the chancellor’s desperate efforts at make believe, back in the real world there is still the horror to come of billions of pounds slashed from public spending.

“The truth is Theresa May leads a government of historic low growth and shrunken wages that has trapped our people in a never-ending decline in living standards.

“Talk of a ‘jobs miracle’ is simply an insult. It will certainly be news to those juggling two and three jobs for whom it is miraculous if they manage to make ends meet from week-to-week. They’d far rather the chancellor provided a few extra quid to feed and clothe the family than focused on the trifling gimmick of a Brexit 50p coin.

“On Universal Credit, right across the country people are living in absolute terror of what is coming their way. Weeks without money, the threat of eviction, a reliance on foodbanks. This is simply not good enough for the sixth largest economy on the planet.

“Mr Hammond could have used today to allay their very real fears and save families and their children from certain poverty. He did not, and what he proposed did not go far enough. On that basis we back the call for MPs to vote down this budget.

“Austerity was always a political choice, and the Tories’ choice was to make the people pay for the greed of the banking elite. It is high time they took their tired, failing ideas and moved out of the way.

“We need a government that will actually invest in decent homes, jobs, wages and public services, one that can create a hopeful vision for the UK after Brexit and where the chronic under-funding of our schools, hospitals and police will cease.

“Today we needed a budget for the many. Instead we got one for the few.

“When it comes down to it, it is a typical Tory budget. All tricks and ruses, and absolutely no treats for the most vulnerable in our society.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented on the government’s spending plans up to 2024:

“Working people cannot be fobbed off again with promises of a better tomorrow that never comes. The budget does not undo the austerity that has devastated public services. And it lacks the investment needed to speed up wage growth after the longest pay squeeze in 200 years.

“People know that public services need much more investment. They feel the consequences of austerity where they live. There's more crime and less police. There’s longer NHS waiting lists and too few beds. And there's not enough teachers to educate our kids.

“With Brexit looming, we urgently need a national recovery plan to get the UK fit and ready. We will only have a strong economy and safe communities if we rebuild our public services. And we must invest in our industrial base to create well-paid steady jobs in the towns across Britain where they’re needed most.”

Comments On Today's Budget, 29th October 2018, 19:15 PM