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STUC 2014 Dundee

Fund the deficit by tackling tax avoiders not by attacking the welfare state

Helen Duddy

The STUC will step up its campaign against austerity, as delegates expressed their real anger about the impact of the cuts which has seen the biggest fall in living standards on record.

The STUC will organise a day of action for trade unions and community groups working for social justice; alongside co-ordination and support for unions taking industrial action. There was a passionate call for unions to participate in and affiliate to the People’s Assembly Against Austerity in Scotland and to campaign for tax justice at a time when uncollected tax and tax avoidance amounts to over £120 billion.

In her first speech to Congress, UNISON’s Helen Duddy told delegates that austerity has destruction written all over it. “It brought about splits in our communities ... it isolated our most vulnerable groups,” Helen said. “First striking at the workers by imposing pay freezes and cuts, then it came around to target those that need support most.”

Helen slammed the demonising of different groups, the poor, the elderly, those needing social housing - the blaming of the people who are set to suffer most.

She told Congress that attacking the welfare state to pay the deficit was not the answer – that the deficit can be funded by tackling tax dodgers who evade paying their fair share.

“It’s all about having a fairer society,” said Helen, “The time has come to fight these cuts by the greatest power this nation owns, the people ourselves!”

Date 15 April 2014

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