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

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

UK locked into a vicious downward spiral of cuts – O’Grady

Incoming TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has put an early marker down against the failing policies of the Con Dem Government: “We were told that short-term pain would deliver long-term gain, yet all we see are nasty side-effects with no sign of a cure. What is worse is that we now seem to be locked into a vicious downward spiral of cuts. They are not working so the government cuts even more. Reducing the living standards of some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society, while attempting to tar them all as scroungers, is perhaps the very definition of a party determined to be seen as nasty.”

O’Grady sets out 3 policy demands which can unite the trade union movement:

* Urge the government to abandon the austerity measures and cuts that are doing more harm than good and put investment in jobs and growth first.

* Create a long-term vision for the economy with a new industrial policy, including investment in the country’s infrastructure, affordable homes and transport and forge a laser-like focus on the need to create decent jobs and apprenticeships.

* Build a fair society – one where we really are all in it together with the poorest paid the Living Wage, more done to stop tax avoidance and evasion, and workers’ given a say on bosses’ pay.

However, the new TUC leadership needs urgently to deliver what the organisation has so far failed to do under the Con Dem Government despite two impressive national demonstrations - moving beyond the policy debate by mobilising a continuous campaign of resistance to austerity at local, regional and national level.