Date: 21 March 2012
Budget: Tax cuts for rich and mass unemployment for youth is totally unacceptable - UNISON
UNISON Scotland has condemned today's budget as "tax cuts for the rich few while a whole generation is consigned to mass unemployment because of crazy austerity economics".
Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said that cutting the 50p tax rate was completely unacceptable while unemployment soars across the UK - and Scottish youth unemployment hits record levels.
Scotland's largest union, which represents 160,000 workers across public services, called instead for an alternative budget for jobs, confidence and growth.
Mike Kirby said:
"It is completely unacceptable for the government to cut tax for the rich few in society while a whole generation is consigned to mass unemployment because of crazy austerity economics.
"Freezing the miminum wage for young people is unfair and will do nothing to address poverty or joblessness.
"Over 100,000 young Scots are now jobless - that's the highest figure for a generation. And that's why the STUC has called for a demonstration at the Tory party's Scottish conference in Troon on Saturday 24 March.
"Youth unemployment in Scotland is higher than the UK average and it is increasing more rapidly. Government should be creating jobs and investing in the infrastructure and services our economy and our people - especially our young people - for a better future. We need a halt to the failed austerity policies that are damaging vital public services.”
UNISON has published an alternative budget which shows that the cuts are not necessary.
The union is arguing for a number of popular options to help kick-start the economy, instead of tax cuts for the rich and spending cuts for the rest. Between £35bn and £70bn could be raised each year by tackling tax evasion by individuals, companies and other organisations - such as the £6bn HMRC let Vodafone off paying.
Mike Kirby said:
"There is plenty of money available to fund decent public services, it is just in the wrong hands. We need to get our people – especially our young people – back to work."
For further information please contact:
Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary - 07939 143 355
Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns Scotland - 07958 122409
Stephen Low, Policy Officer - 0141 342 2811 / 0795 685 2822
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer - 0141 342 2877 / 07538 640 396
Note to editors:
1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing over 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland.
2. UNISON’s alternative UK budget is available on the UNISON UK website here: http://www.unison.org.uk/news/budget2012.asp
3. The STUC has called a March and Rally against Youth Unemployment on Saturday 24 March in Troon venue for the Scottish Tory Conference.
Assemble 12 noon South Beach Esplanade (Victoria Drive)
March off: 12.30 pm
Rally 1.00 pm South Beach Esplanade (Titchfield Rd)
More details on the STUC There is a better way site