UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

IoD mad axemen call for cuts in NHS and overseas aid‏

A platitude which rolls easily off the lips of politicians is the ‘national interest’. Scratch the surface and usually you’ll find a commercial or some other vested interest.
Today’s demand by the Institute of Directors for the Government to ‘be more radical with its cuts’ and to jettison ring fencing of NHS and overseas aid spending is a case in point. Never mind election pledges and manifestos. Think profit. http://itn.co.uk/4aaf2ef1a24fc1a7c062ee32d8d8b94a.html

The IoD’s call coincides with a report by report by insolvency firm Begbies Traynor showed that financial trouble had hit 50,299 companies across public-sector dependent industries such as construction, IT, recruitment, advertising and business services in the third quarter of 2010. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/96393

The irony is that tax averse business lobbies like the IoD - having long argued for blanket reductions in public expenditure - are now belatedly realising the economic implications of reduced capital expenditure by the state. Back in June a Work Foundation study of the likely impact of cuts in Yorkshire and Humber region showed ‘the complex symbiotic relationships between the public and private sectors and wider economic growth...Public procurement of goods and services is a significant source of revenue for many private sector businesses...’ http://www.theworkfoundation.com/pressmedia/news/newsarticle.aspx?oItemId=309

Too often the debate on public expenditure fails to take into account public value. A useful resource is a TUC report published last month which examines the value to households of the benefits we receive from public services: http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-18467-f0.pdf