GMB commented on the Autumn Statement delivered on 3rd December 2014 by George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said “The so called “prudent” Mr Osborne will borrow more in five years at the Treasury than Labour chancellors he labels as profligate did in thirteen. The welcome increase in economic activity is partly linked to population growth as GDP per head is still 3% below 2007 levels. The real value of take home pay for workers is 13% below pre–recession levels while many of the new jobs are precarious and badly paid. If this is success I would not like to think what failure looks like.”
Four GMB members on low pay told the union:
“I have a wife and two young daughters aged 3 & 8. Currently I go to work at 7 am and don’t get home until 7pm or even later. For the majority of the days in a week I do not get to see my children at all but I have to work these crazy hours to pay the bills and keep my kids fed and in clothes. My quality of life is zero because I simply have to work all the time and have little to no family life at all. My company does not pay overtime either, so it is really tough just to earn enough to scrape through the weeks and months.”
” I never go on holiday, can’t afford a car, don’t eat much meat as I can’t afford to, only buy Christmas present for my daughter, never go out, don’t buy new clothes.”
“Everyday bills all mount up and once they are all paid you have very little for food or to go and enjoy life.”
“Every penny needs to be accounted for. We buy supermarkets own brands, collect save money coupons and buy one get one free.”
Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for public services, said “Osborne’s forecasts on the deficit reduction have been dismal and his latest forecasts will be no different. Downgrading growth forecasts and downgrading tax rates add up to very deep cuts reducing public spending to the lowest proportion of GDP for 80 years. The OBR say we are only 40% along the way with a further 60% of cuts still to be implemented to fill the cavernous fiscal hole. The public service spending cuts that have already happened have had a traumatic effect on elderly care, children’s services and other basic support for our communities.
The services that have already been cut by one third face cuts of another third. Cuts in expenditure of this order for law enforcement, armed forces, social and community services and public sector pay are not remotely realistic. Supporting further cuts is to condone more failures in services to the most vulnerable and needy in society and to undo the glue of a civilised society. That is the harsh reality of the choice to be made at the next election. GMB demands that the Chancellor come clean now and tell the British public exactly what services he would cut.”