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Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget statement totally failed to offer any light at the end of the tunnel for millions across Britain.

Leaving in place the 1% public sector pay cap at a time when inflation is running at over 3% means yet more cuts to the real wages of the people struggling to keep our austerity-hammered public services afloat.  

Starving the economy of much needed investment in public services is also economically illiterate, and is resulting in what the OBR forecasts now acknowledge is resulting in a sustained failure to achieve significant growth or increases in productivity.

Uprating of the National Minimum Wage will still mean that 19 and 20 year old workers will earn just £5.90 an hour from April 2018, when the Living Wage is already £8.75 an hour across most of the UK and £10.20 in London.   Workers aged 21-25 won't do much better on just £7.83 from April.

Nor will the scrapping of Stamp Duty for first time buyers on the first £300,000 of the purchase of properties costing up to £500,000 do much to make home ownership a viable prospect for most young working people.  The Government should be investing in a mass programme of council house building to meet the rocketing need for genuinely affordable housing.

Hammond and the Tories clearly have no solutions to the problems facing the Economy.  The Budget showed that in terms of ideas they are running on empty.    

Our services are crying out for investment.  Workers across the country are long overdue a pay rise.   The Government's failure is leaving little alternative but to coordinate industrial action to bring this about.  

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) today supported the call by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell for "an emergency Budget for our public services".

This comes after almost 99% of the union’s public sector members in a ballot result last week indicated they want to see the public sector pay cap end and investment in public services. 79% expressed willingness to take strike action if the government refuse.

This week has seen the IPPR report – Uncapped Potential – set out the economic case against the cap, and the exposure through the Paradise Papers of widespread legal tax avoidance by the richest and most powerful, proving that if the Government prioritised tax justice they could find the extra money easily.

PCS, as the union representing staff working on Universal Credit, also supported McDonnell’s call to pause the roll out. The widespread criticism of the benefit roll out by charities, local authorities, MP’s and its own workforce needs to be taken seriously.

Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary commented “McDonnell’s proposals for a Budget for public services are plain common sense against the nonsense of the Chancellor’s claims that there can be no new money to end the pay cap. The emergency Budget for public services is necessary because of the daily chaos of Theresa May’s government in crisis. Inflation has now risen to 3% CPI. Public sector workers are already thousands of pounds worse off because of pay policy. What public sector workers need is for the pay cap to be scrapped now, for above inflation pay rises to be agreed and the chancellor to guarantee the money for this in the budget. Scrapping the cap without increasing the funding to pay for it is a Tory trick that we won’t fall for

RMT members standing rock solid across the country on latest day of strike action over rail safety

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;

"RMT members stand solid, united and determined again this morning in the latest phase of strike action in a raft of separate disputes which are about putting safety, security and access to transport services before the profiteering of these rip-off private rail companies.

"Political and public support is flooding in as our communities choose to stand by their guards against the financially and politically motivated drive to throw safety-critical staff off our trains. The union salutes the members who are standing firm this morning for a safe and accessible railway for all.

“It is frankly sickening that Chris Grayling and his supporters are prepared to sit back and cheer on overseas operators who are robbing British passengers blind while sacrificing basic safety standards in order to subsidise transport services in Paris, Amsterdam and Hong Kong‎.

“It’s time for the Government to lift the dead hand which is preventing rail companies from negotiating deals like the ones we have successfully struck in Wales and Scotland that‎ guarantee a guard on the trains. If it's good enough for Scotland and Wales it's good enough for the rest of Britain.”

"Again this morning I am calling on Theresa May and Chris Grayling to call off the centrally imposed blockade on serious talks in these disputes and allow us to get on with genuine negotiations with their contractors."

THE FIREFIGHTERS' DILEMMA

TUCG: MARK SERWOTKA ON THE FIGHT AGAINST AUSTERITY

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BOOK: COST OF LIVING CRISIS

TheCostofLivingCrisis-jpeg 1

By MIchael Calderbank

Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

 

Buy now from www.radicalread.co.uk

Based on research commissioned by the TUCG, the book examines why costs have risen for all items of expenditure, ranging from housing and child care to food and transport. He makes practical proposals on how these costs can be reduced. He also delivers an uncompromising message to the leaders of all mainstream Westminster Parties: it is time to end the politics of austerity, an ideological project to cut the size of the state permanently.

FAMILY JUSTICE

New pamphlet on the effect of legal aid cuts on Family Justice.  Double click the picture below to dowload.

FamilyJustice

 

 

THE GREAT PAY ROBBERY

 

great pay robbery1

 

The impact of falling real wages, benefit cuts and soaring housing costs - with a foreword by Mark Serwotka (General Secretary, PCS).  Click image to download.

COST OF LIVING CRISIS

Cost of Living

 

 Click the image to download the new pamphlet from TUCG, looking at how the cost of living is impacting on working families, and what kind of measures are needed to really make a difference (with a foreword by Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary).