22 November 2017
Despite what Conservative Ministers and MPs said in the Autumn the Chancellor in his budget speech failed to lift the public sector pay cap, with the absence of any specific reference to the pay cap public servants are likely to continue to pay the price for austerity.
NIPSA Deputy General Secretary Bumper Graham said:
“At the outset of the Chancellor’s speech he referred to:-
· the UK as a “growing economy”;
· “wanting to help families to cope with the cost of living”; and
· “work should be good quality and well paid”
yet his speech delivered nothing to address austerity and in particular to abolishing the public sector pay cap, hundreds of thousands of public service workers will not only see his comments as hollow words but yet a further attack on their living standards.
It is essential that all public service unions unite around a campaign that has no limits to defeat the public sector pay cap.”
This was a budget/autumn public expenditure statement of much ado about nothing. Significant elements of the announcements were either of a technical nature or related to considerable additional capital expenditure increases for England.
Bumper Graham said:-
“With only passing references to Northern Ireland and uncertainty as to exactly what the £650m reference of funding for Northern Ireland can be used for, next year will see massive cuts to expenditure resulting in job losses, reduced services and a declining infrastructure. This budget proves the need for our politicians to resolve their differences, get the institutions up and running and to tackle the Prime Minister and Chancellor to get a better deal for Northern Ireland.
The dire economic situation our members and their families face is there for all to see. The local economy they support and work in has endured real terms cut to the Bloc grant of 10.2% and there has been a loss in Northern Ireland of 26,000 public servants since 2010. Not only is work more insecure but pay has been frozen, cut or capped and continues to lag far behind an inflationary rate now sitting at 3%.
NIPSA and our allies in the wider trade union movement and civil society must continue to oppose this economic vandalism and fight for better work for better lives.”