From what I’ve read of this press statement below, this alternative set out by the TUC seems inadequate, and falls into the trap of using language that certainly implies that the problem with the government’s cuts are that they are too fast and too deep, not that they are cuts at all.
Nevertheless, it is positive that the TUC have taken an initiative such as this.
The TUC today (Monday) sets out its alternative to the government’s economic programme, calling for a more flexible deficit reduction timetable, fairer taxation and a well-funded green investment bank to encourage jobs and sustainable growth.
The TUC budget submission calls for the government to heed the warning signs of a faltering recovery and rethink its plans for deep, early spending cuts.
The call for an economic plan B will be made by more than 100,000 people – including union members, community groups and first time marchers appalled at the unfairness of the cuts – at the TUC March for the Alternative in central London this Saturday.
Rather than using the budget as a political project to roll back the state, the TUC wants the Chancellor to focus on the key economic issues facing the country – rising unemployment, falling living standards and low growth prospects – all of which threaten his deficit reduction plans.
Government action so far – early spending cuts, scrapping vital job support and tax rises that hit those on low to middle incomes the hardest – has already weakened the recovery and sticking to this course will further undermine our chances of sustainable growth, the TUC says.
The Chancellor should use the budget to boost jobs through well-funded employment schemes and encourage growth through a green investment bank and an ambitious industrial strategy, says the TUC.
The TUC believes that a crackdown on tax avoidance by multi-national companies and the super-rich could provide the public funds needed for a green bank to operate.
The TUC budget submission calls for measures including:
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘With unemployment rising and our recovery grinding to a halt there has to be an alternative to the government’s risky economic gamble that is making things worse rather than better.
‘On Wednesday the Chancellor should admit that changing economic conditions, partly as a result of his own policies but also a consequence of wider economic unrest, require a change of course.
‘We want to see a plan B that ends growth sapping spending cuts and invests in getting people back into work and our economy motoring again.
‘But employment and investment programmes cannot be done on the cheap. The government should start making those who benefitted most from the boom pay their fair share towards helping the recovery.
‘The message from the tens of thousands of people marching in central London this Saturday will be that there is an economic alternative and the government should change course before it’s too late.’
NOTES TO EDITORS:
– The TUC budget submission is available to download under embargo at http://www.tuc.org.uk/budgetsubmission2011
– The TUC March for the Alternative is taking place in central London on Saturday 26 March. The march will form up from 11am on the Victoria Embankment between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges and proceed through central London until reaching Hyde Park, where the rally will start from around 1.30pm.
– Further info about the logistics of the march and reasons why people are marching for an alternative to the cuts is available at http://www.marchforthealternative.org.uk
– People wanting to find out about transport to the march in their local area should visit http://www.falseeconomy.org.uk/themarch
– Journalists wanting to arrange interviews with TUC leaders before the march or looking for media access to the march and rally should speak to the TUC press office.