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Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget statement totally failed to offer any light at the end of the tunnel for millions across Britain.

Leaving in place the 1% public sector pay cap at a time when inflation is running at over 3% means yet more cuts to the real wages of the people struggling to keep our austerity-hammered public services afloat.  

Starving the economy of much needed investment in public services is also economically illiterate, and is resulting in what the OBR forecasts now acknowledge is resulting in a sustained failure to achieve significant growth or increases in productivity.

Uprating of the National Minimum Wage will still mean that 19 and 20 year old workers will earn just £5.90 an hour from April 2018, when the Living Wage is already £8.75 an hour across most of the UK and £10.20 in London.   Workers aged 21-25 won't do much better on just £7.83 from April.

Nor will the scrapping of Stamp Duty for first time buyers on the first £300,000 of the purchase of properties costing up to £500,000 do much to make home ownership a viable prospect for most young working people.  The Government should be investing in a mass programme of council house building to meet the rocketing need for genuinely affordable housing.

Hammond and the Tories clearly have no solutions to the problems facing the Economy.  The Budget showed that in terms of ideas they are running on empty.    

Our services are crying out for investment.  Workers across the country are long overdue a pay rise.   The Government's failure is leaving little alternative but to coordinate industrial action to bring this about.  

THE FIREFIGHTERS' DILEMMA

TUCG: MARK SERWOTKA ON THE FIGHT AGAINST AUSTERITY

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BOOK: COST OF LIVING CRISIS

TheCostofLivingCrisis-jpeg 1

By MIchael Calderbank

Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

 

Buy now from www.radicalread.co.uk

Based on research commissioned by the TUCG, the book examines why costs have risen for all items of expenditure, ranging from housing and child care to food and transport. He makes practical proposals on how these costs can be reduced. He also delivers an uncompromising message to the leaders of all mainstream Westminster Parties: it is time to end the politics of austerity, an ideological project to cut the size of the state permanently.