WORKERS are set to lose over £800 a year by 2021 due to Tory economic policies, the TUC said yesterday.
Revised growth forecasts published by the Office for Budget Responsibility said weekly average earnings would grow to £502 by 2021. But when adjusted in line with methodology changes, this is £832 a year less than the OBR predicted at the spring Budget in March.
“The news for workers gets worse and worse,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said. “Their wages are set to be worth hundreds of pounds less than the government thought in the coming years. This Budget won’t give Britain the pay rise it so badly needs.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond offered a gloomy vision for workers’ pay packets in his Budget yesterday. Apart from in the NHS, he said, any public sector rises above the current 1 per cent cap would have to be funded out of highly stretched departmental budgets.
Civil Service union PCS said Mr Hammond was “totally ducking” the issue of public-sector pay.
And he warned that Whitehall departments would be plunged even deeper into “crisis” if targets for spending reductions were met by reducing office headcounts.
Eyebrows had been raised over a pledge to raise exactly £1 billion from unspecified “adjustments” to departmental spending.
“What we’ve had since 2010 is year on year cuts,” PCS leader Mark Serwotkatold the Star. “We’ve now got the smallest Civil Service since the second world war. 120,000 jobs gone since 2010, leading to a collapse in being able to deliver services that people need.”
“If it is the case he’s continuing with these cuts or making them even worse, that’s going to make a crisis in real service delivery terms even worse.
“We’re determined to fight for more jobs, not less, to deliver decent public services.”
General union GMB chief Tim Roache said: “People will rightly feel let down by what they’ve seen and heard today — and even more so when they see the small print.
“The public-sector pay cap remains bringing misery to thousands of frontline workers who spend their lives teaching our kids, keeping us safe and looking after us when we’re ill.”
Public-sector union Unison’s leader Dave Prentis said: “The Chancellor says he wants to make Britain ‘fit for the future’ — but his deeply disappointing Budget has left public services gasping for air.”
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