Public and Commercial Services Union
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Collect tax to invest in skills funding

The government should be collecting the billions of pounds of tax lost to the exchequer every year, not planning millions in cuts to skills funding.

Responding to a story in yesterday’s Observer newspaper, PCS has said plans to axe £350m from the skills budget would further undermine frontline services that have already been “cut to the bone”.

Most of the proposed reduction would fall on places for adult learners, apprenticeships, employer training, and pay and job cuts at further education colleges, according to a document drawn up for business secretary Lord Mandelson and skills minister Kevin Brennan.

The union represents workers in the Learning and Skills Council, the body responsible for distributing the funding, and its parents department – Business, Innovation and Skills.

The claim that cuts and so called 'efficiency savings' can be done while protecting frontline services rings hollow

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The claim that cuts and so called 'efficiency savings' can be done while protecting frontline services rings hollow.

“The Learning and Skills Council is going through yet another reorganisation and has been cut to the bone.

“Further cuts will undermine the skills agenda and restrict opportunities for learners at a time when we should be investing to aid the country’s economic recovery.

“Rather than drawing up cuts, the government should be looking at collecting the billions worth of tax which is uncollected, avoided or evaded.”

The union continues to call for job cuts and office closures in HM Revenue and Customs to be reversed to allow the department to collect the estimated £100bn a year lost through tax avoidance and evasion.

 

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