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Union warns Government to expect “horrible year”

The Trades Union Congress has warned the coalition Government to expect a “horrible” year in 2011 as anger grows over cuts to public service jobs and pensions.

In his New Year message to members, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber took the opportunity to attack cuts to benefits, particularly housing benefit, and the decision to increase VAT to 20 per cent.

He says: “Spending cuts inevitably hit those on low and middle incomes, while taxes – such as a Robin Hood Tax and real efforts to deal with tax avoidance – can be targeted on those who can afford to pay. Yet even the modest tax contribution chosen by the coalition is VAT, the least fair tax of all.”

Barber also expects rising public anger as jobs are lost in both the public and private sectors. He says: “2011 will be a horrible year. Unemployment will increase as thousands of public servants get made redundant. Just as many, if not more, private sector jobs will go, both as a direct result of the cuts and through the knock-on effects of reduced economic activity.”

This follows a warning from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development that unemployment could rise by 200,000 next year.

Aside from tax policy and cuts to public services, a key battleground for public sector unions will be Government plans to reform public service pensions. Lord John Hutton’s review will make its final recommendations before the Budget next year, with employee contributions expected to rise and final salary provision ditched.

However, some form of defined benefit provision could be retained, with the National Association of Pension Funds among others calling for benefits to be based on career average earnings.



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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. OK – I agree with the government that they should do something about reducing the burden on the rest of the country of funding public sector pensions – and I also agree with reducing the overall number (and therefore cost) of non-productive civil servants. However, I feel that for the good of the overall economy, funding needs to be available for both academic and vocational education – where the courses are targetted at job creation, as well as available funding to help the private sector create sustainable employment. A “Robin Hood” tax would seem an ideal way to create this funding, moving money away from the large financial institutions who helped to instigate the current world-wide crisis to small businesses which are more likley to provide the innovation and ideas to drive the economy forward. Neither retaining the previous Status Quo or simply slashing expenditure are the answer – for things to work, the budget AND equitable fairness have to be balanced and seen to be balanced.

  2. Steven Farrall (Adviser Alliance) 30th December 2010 at 12:10 pm

    More utter economic stupidity and ignorance form Barber.

    There are about 8m people turning up for the State. Of which about 2m do something vaguely useful -police, Army etc. The rest are already unemployed they just don’t know it yet. Their jobs are redundant. They need to be released to find more rewarding wealth creating jobs in private business. They cannot any longer be feather bedded as tax consumers.

    As regards raising taxes that is totallly ludicrous. It is high taxes and government mismanagement that got us intio this mess in the first place. Doing more of that is not going to solve anything. Cut taxes – all taxes now. Which leads me to the only point of agreement, the VAT rise is stupid.

    And if you really want to improve education, privatise all of it and give everyone vouchers to spend on it. One spin off might be better economic education rather then the crap that gets taught by the nationalised state indoctrination centres masquerading as schools and universities.

  3. From a reasoned arguement and sensible comment from Philip we get the usual tory nonsense from Steven namely those that can afford to pay will and those that can’t starve. Steven would you have us go back to the Feudal System??? Are you the love child of Mrs Margaret Thatcher and somew other right wing reactiuonary???

    This tory govenrment will never be fair to anyone other that its own wealthy supporters no matter what Philip and I wish for.

  4. Notice how there is never any apology from the Unions about helping to fund the Labour party and indeed individuals such as Mr Brown into power, who end up financially crippling the country through their policies backed by the Unions.

    If the Unions want to help those who might lose their jobs then let them use some of their funds to pay these people and do some good for a change.

  5. Steven Farrall – are you old enough to have the right to vote? If so, please don’t exercise it. Your inane comments sound more like those of a disgruntled teenager rather than a useful contribution to finding a solution to the situation we are all in!

  6. Thirteen years of incompetence from a Labour Government saw the public sector job total swell by over one million, to no economic benefit.

    Compared to the private sector, the public sector now enjoys higher average pay, shorter working hours, more paid leave, and superior pension provision.

    There is plenty of “dead wood” within local Government, many incompetent teachers and many useless police officers.

    Let the unions bleat. They will get very little sympathy.

    Let these people who have led charmed lives for so long, experience life in the “real” world and let the long suffering UK taxpayer have some long overdue respite.

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