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

Friday, 11 May 2012

Debt, Deficit and Public Opinion

At UNISON North West Regional Council last Tuesday, Paul Nowak of the TUC gave a well received presentation on the challenges facing the labour movement. Paul highlighted a key contradiction in recent opinion survey in that most people thought austerity cuts were damaging the economy but at the same time most thought the cuts were required. This presents an interesting (and concerning) problem.

I think there is an answer. Most people think that a growing deficit is concerning and must be reduced. This is a bit different to national debt. So quite rightly people are concerned at a growing deficit (aka the household finances heading south).

But this is what the coalition is doing through its cuts making the deficit grow.

· The Public Spending chart shows this increase in deficit with cuts. It’s from www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_chart.html. The coalition does not cry it from the housetops but they will have nearly doubled the deficit from the levels in 2010!!

The attached chart also shows that our national government debt is not too bad. Though private debt from speculation is awful at £4 trillion.

Simple message stop cutting to reduce deficit.

People in work produce more value than people on the dole, that is they pay back (as always) the cost of hiring.

There is then an alternative national plan question, where do we hire, what do we do, how etc. but that is a different level of argument to the coalition's simply stupid line of deficit… cut… more deficit… more cut etc.