Received from: Unison
Congress notes that the UK stands poised on the brink of a second dose of austerity. The budget plans outlined by the chancellor in March reveal spending constraints that will heap further pressure on public services still reeling from more than a decade of cuts.
Already, we are seeing this result in jobs cuts, ruthless fire and rehire measures, councils being forced to withdraw and scale back local services and the imposition of a pay freeze affecting millions across public services.
Congress notes that while the increased costs and reduced income associated with the pandemic do pose challenges to public finances, the UK government has choices. Instead, it continues to pursue an outdated ideological approach that spells further pain for the services that our communities rely upon and which undermines the government’s own professed goal of levelling up.
In this context, Congress calls on the General Council to lead a campaign for an alternative to cuts and austerity. This should focus on the need to secure the following outcomes:
i. sustainable long-term investment in all our public services, enabling them to meet day-to-day demands and address backlogs in the NHS and the challenge of long covid
ii. decent pay and reward for people working in public services and across the wider economy, including an immediate end to the pay freeze
iii. the creation of a fair and equal society that addresses the serious structural inequalities exposed by the pandemic
iv. economic policies that create a greener and more sustainable economy.