Speaking after the Chancellor announced his Autumn Statement, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“Whilst he may feel obliged to repeat the rhetoric, today is the day the Chancellor abandoned any pretence that ‘we’re all in this together’.
“The Treasury’s own analysis shows that next year, the net income of the bottom five income deciles will fall significantly more than those at the top. Even this doesn’t begin to describe the pain that will be shouldered by society’s most vulnerable as a three year significant real terms benefits cut begins to bite.
“The statement included nothing of substance to kick-start growth and jobs. Further tax cuts for already cash rich firms will do nothing create jobs but will boost the pool from which unearned bonuses will be extracted.
“The additional £330m for Scotland is of course welcome but it is important to be realistic about the potential for this spend to turn around economic performance. Nevertheless the STUC looks forward to discussing with the Scottish Government how these funds might be used to best effect.
“The Coalition is failing, not just on growth and jobs, but also on its core purpose of tackling the deficit and stock of debt. The OBR’s fiscal forecasts are much more optimistic than the consensus of independent forecasters. It is almost inevitable these will once again be revised down in the spring Budget.
“The Chancellor is simply spectacularly wrong. The best advice the STUC can offer him is that when you’re in a hole, as he undoubtedly is, then stop digging!”
For further information contact Stephen Boyd 0141 337 8100 Kevin Buchanan 0141 337 8100