Scotland Joins Westminster 1% Club
Unions have accused Scotland’s Government of slavishly following Westminster by proposing a 1% pay increase for public sector workers. Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman opines that this brings the prospect of strikes closer, and that the pay deal will be a focal point for the 20 Oct TUC march for ‘A Future that Works’.
The Scottish TUC said John Swinney, the Scottish finance secretary, had “followed George Osborne’s public sector pay policy almost to the letter”.
Commenting on Swinney’s announcement of the draft Scottish Budget, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“The STUC has consistently acknowledged that the UK coalition Government’s dangerously irresponsible economic strategy has placed the Scottish Government in a very difficult position and that Mr Swinney has endeavoured throughout the crisis to do what he can to stimulate the Scottish economy.
“However, it is disappointing that Mr Swinney has followed George Osborne’s public sector pay policy almost to the letter. A third year of significant real terms wage cuts for hundreds of thousands of workers puts Mr Swinney’s attempts at stimulus into perspective.
“If last year’s Budget contained two major backward steps in terms of housing and colleges investment, today’s announcement represents one step forward. This additional investment is welcome but unlikely, in and of itself, to exert a substantial stimulatory effect.
“Although we await the detail with interest, the STUC is sceptical that 10,000 new jobs for young people will be delivered by an investment of £15m. A harder but better choice would have been to invest the £150m currently earmarked for the wasteful, economically useless Small Business Bonus Scheme to provide genuine incentives to create quality sustainable jobs for Scotland’s unemployed young people”.
Unions21′s new ideas for how government, unions and business can create opportunities for young people are reported in the publication: ‘Hit Hardest, Scarred Longest: Young Workers During the Crisis’
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