This is a letter to the Swindon Advertiser in response to the ’emergency budget’.
The Coalition government’s emergency budget threatens to push the economy back into recession. Its impact on jobs and services will be drastic. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development estimates that up to 750,000 jobs will be lost in the public sector.
Consider this: the latest unemployment figure is 2.47 million. An estimated 1.07 million people are in part-time employment only because they have not been able to find full-time work. Another 2.32 million are without work and would like a job (though they do not technically qualify as unemployed). There are only 462,000 registered vacancies.
Whilst the unemployment rate is 7.9% it is far worse for young people; 35% for 16-17 year olds, 17% for 18-24 year olds. When older people are being told they will have to work longer, where are young people to find work?
Of the 462,000 vacancies nearly 45% of them are in large companies or public sector bodies; not many in small businesses. The jobs cull in the public sector is likely to reduce the available work. Even if the public sector job loss is 500,000 then the private sector will have to create the same number of jobs for unemployment to remain at its already high level.
The budget proposes to pressure single parents and disabled people into work which simply does not exist. In the unlikely event that the government’s own economic projections turn out to be spot on they predict there will still be close to 2 million unemployed by 2015.
With 25% cuts in many government departments there will be significant cuts in already hard pressed public services. It is mostly the poor that use these services. Swindon Tory Council’s previous cuts will be dwarfed. Having complained about the cuts of New Labour they appear to be enthusiastically embracing the butchery of Osborne and Cameron.
Trades unions and service users share common interests in campaigning against cuts which will have drastic social and economic implications. Having let the financial institutions off lightly for their central part in creating the crisis, this reactionary Coalition is now intent on making the mass of the population pay for a crisis which was not of our making.
Secretary, Swindon TUC