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

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Balls - opponent of NMW, supporter of banking deregulation, gets it wrong again on Pay

Trade unionists will be dismayed at yesterday's comments by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls that public sector pay being capped at 1% for 2013 and 2014 is ''inevitable' and that the Opposition would support continued pay restraint 'Labour cannot duck that reality - and we won't. Jobs must be our priority before higher pay.'

So in one speech Balls reverses Labour policy and throws down the gauntlet to the affiliated unions - this policy must be challenged and overturned.

It's not the first time Balls has spoken against workers' interests where pay is concerned. It's hardly believable these days but back in 1991 early doors neo-liberal Balls wrote in Marxism Today that: "The allure of a minimum wage is deceptive and should be resisted" and "could make poverty worse."

At a time when real wages across the economy are falling by 3.2%, what Balls is supporting is a further squeeze on the real incomes of all public sector workers - which in turn will lead to a depression of economic demand. It is as economically illiterate as his musings on the minimum wage 20 years ago and similarly will be shown to be the case in the years ahead: