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TUC – The Conservatives crashed the economy – now they are making working people “take the hit”

The Tories have marched us into a recession, putting jobs at risk and hitting workers’ wages

  • Public sector key workers face years of “pay misery” as departmental budgets are “brutally squeezed” 
  • The government cares more about City bankers than nurses, says TUC 
  • Ministers will do the “bare minimum” on benefits and low pay 

Commenting on today’s (Thursday) Autumn Budget, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:  

“The Conservatives crashed the economy – now they are making working people take the hit. 

“This is a recession made in 10 Downing Street, which will put jobs at risk and hit workers’ wages. 

“We are all paying the price for the last decade of Tory governments, which decimated growth and living standards. Today’s statement shows it will be two decades until real wages recover. 

“Millions of key workers across the public sector – who got us through the pandemic – face years of pay misery as departmental budgets are brutally squeezed.  

“The chancellor talked about everyone making sacrifices, but the super-rich have once again been let off the hook – token tweaks to tax will do little to dent their bank balances.  

“This is a government more interested in rewarding wealth than work. This is a government choosing to hold down the wages of nurses and teachers while it allows bankers unlimited bonuses. 

“This winter, workers will be taking action to defend their jobs and pay. They need a government that is on their side – not one determined to hold down their pay at any cost.” 

On the government’s cuts to public services, Frances added: 

“Public services face a crisis of soaring inflation meaning real spending cuts now. There is no more fat to trim. 

“The Tories seem hellbent on breaking Britain. Our public services needed a real plan to get Britain back on its feet – the chancellor failed to deliver that today.” 

On the rise in the minimum wage and benefits, Frances added: 

“Ministers have announced the bare minimum on the national minimum wage and universal credit. 

“With bills and living costs soaring, we need to ensure that everyone has enough to get by. 

“That means raising the minimum wage to £15 an hour as soon as possible. And it means a significant boost to universal credit and child benefits”  

“The basic amount of universal credit will be worth £43 a month less than in 2010.” 

Huge public service cuts 

Recent TUC and NEF analysis showed that an additional £43bn a year (2022/23 prices) would be needed by 2024/25 just to “stand still” and ensure real spending on public services stays at the level set out in the October 2021 spending review.  

Today’s autumn statement fails to deliver that funding and means that real-terms spending cuts are being inflicted on our public services now.  

TUC analysis also showed that many frontline staff will see the value of their pay packets shrink again if the government imposes a 2% pay settlement for 2023/24:   

  • Hospital porters’ real pay will be down by £1,000.  

  • Maternity care assistants’ real pay will be down by £1,200.  

  • Nurses’ real pay will be down by £1,500.  

  • Paramedics’ and midwives’ real pay will be down by nearly £1,900.  

The TUC says that key workers in the NHS have already endured a “brutal decade” of pay cuts and pay freezes.    

Editors note

About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-conservatives-crashed-economy-now-they-are-making-working-people-take-hit

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