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

Monday, 18 October 2010

Tory Retail Gurus do not know the value of public services‏

Last year plain Simon Wolfson addressed Tory Councillors at the Conservative Councillors Conference and with pseudo guru status was applauded for his analysis of how efficiencies could be delivered in the public sector. Sounding very familiar with Philip Green both men seem to think that their capacity to sell cheap clothes, often made in poorer countries with poor working conditions, somehow gives them inter-galactic powers to understand and ‘fix’ UK public services.

No surprises that he has now received a peerage ‘Lord’ Wolfson now deigns to apply primary school mathematics to the equation of public debt reduction, wading in behind the too fast and too deep cuts of Osborne by suggesting that the private sector could replace the lost public sector jobs. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/spending-review/8069993/Analysis-Delaying-the-cuts-will-mean-more-pain-in-the-long-run.html

This is naive in the extreme but also dangerous to prop up Boy George’s incalculable risk with the economy. Wolfson’s analysis take no account of the losses to the Treasury in income tax and national insurance harvested from those same public sector workers he would see on the dole.

It takes no account of consumer confidence which of itself will stymie growth if people live in fear of losing their jobs. It takes no account of the further knock on effect of job losses for those that supply or deliver to the public sector. The private sector is interdependent on the public sector jobs.

Wolfson takes no account of the job losses through cancellation or postponement of major capital programmes. All of which would add up to rubbing out the supposed ‘savings’ in interest payments that Wolfson argues justify the cuts coming now.

The only way that the private sector could grow jobs in the short term would be for them to launch a smash and grab on public sector contracts and then argue that the private sector has really grown - this will be job transfers from public to private - not new job growth.

When the retail sector in this country destroyed the UK’s textile trade in place of quick profits by outsourcing jobs abroad it is fair to say we will not be taking any lectures off these narrow minded self indulgent, self interested would-be economists. Frankly they need to get back to selling knickers.