UK government cuts frightening - TUC

2010-09-13 19:43

Manchester - The coalition government's plans to slash public spending will leave Britain a "darker, brutish, more frightening place", the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said on Monday.

The impact of Ireland's austerity measures should also be a warning to the government that cutting jobs and services risks threatening Britain's economic recovery, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber told delegates at their annual gathering.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition plans to reduce spending in most departments by a quarter as it tackles a budget deficit totalling 11% of national output, a pledge that has prompted strong opposition from trade unions.

"Decent public services are the glue that holds a civilised society together, and we diminish them at our peril," said Barber, whose union umbrella group represents 6.5 million workers, many of them in the public sector.

"Cut services, put jobs in peril, and increase inequality - that is the way to make Britain a darker, brutish, more frightening place," he added, warning it could take generations to rebuild from the effects of the cuts.

The government said it wanted "a genuine partnership" with the trade unions.

"The issue of the deficit is one that has to be tackled and the government has set out its approach on that and its view that should be predominantly be tackled through spending reductions," Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesperson said.

"But we want to work with the trade unions on this issue."

Credit rating downgrades

Although Ireland won plaudits for moving quickly to tackle its deficit through swingeing cuts, it has been hit by a series of credit rating downgrades as a steadily rising bill for bailing out nationalised lender Anglo Irish Bank threatens to eclipse its fiscal achievements.

"They have made huge cuts, and yet the economic slowdown has been so great that their credit rating has been downgraded time and time again," Barber said.

The issue of how best to thwart the government's austerity plans is set to dominate the congress meeting in Manchester this week, with unions vowing to take co-ordinated industrial action where necessary to defend jobs and services.

Unions favour investing in jobs and supporting economic recovery as an alternative path to reducing the deficit, and have launched a political campaign to mobilise public support for their fight against the cuts.

"We will move to co-ordinate industrial action to defend all we hold dear, all the past generations have fought for," said Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, Britain's biggest public sector union.

"We have to rise to the challenge, show our resolve... build a powerful coalition of our own."

Read more on:    tuc  |  david cameron  |  uk

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 most expensive cars In the world

This is car porn at its best!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a restless need for action and you may go overboard and fill your day with too many things in the need to be recognised...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.