Chancellor’s Speech Criticised by Unions

George Osborne has been criticised by unions representing millions of workers in private firms and the public sector.


The Chancellor took a confrontational approach to unions in his opening words to Conservative Party Conference today: “In 1972 when a Conservative Prime Minister two years into office was faced with economic problems, and over-powerful unions – we buckled, we gave up. The result was higher inflation, more strikes and the three day week. A decade later in 1981 when another Conservative Prime Minister two years into office were faced with economic problems and powerful unions, we did not give up, but pressed on and overcame. Today in the face of the great economic challenges of our age, we will press on.”


In response to the speech Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, said:


“George Osborne’s repetition of ‘we are all in this together’ is an insult to millions of families struggling to make ends meet and meaningless to the one in seven children who regularly go without a hot meal. His cuts will turn decent people into desperate people.”


Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT  said:

“George Osborne is clearly seeking to deflect attention from the abject failure of his economic policy by blatantly peddling misinformation to the public. The Chancellor’s claim that teachers need to defy their union to run an after-school club is quite frankly nonsense. The NASUWT action is not about stopping after-school clubs, or any other voluntary activity. It is about enabling teachers to get on with the job of focusing on teaching and learning, something this Government is preventing teachers from doing.


Commenting on new proposals for small businesses in the Chancellor’s speech TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:


‘We deplore any attack on maternity provision or protection against unfair dismissal, but these complex proposals do not look as if they will have very much impact as few small businesses will want to tie themselves up in the tangle of red tape necessary to trigger these exemptions.


‘This looks more to be said for effect, than because it will make much difference, but we will be vigilant to ensure that they do not represent the thin end of a future anti-employee wedge driven by the Beecroft report.’


Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary said:


“Now we see George Osborne, the man who is giving a £40,000 windfall to his millionaire chums, announcing more attacks on the least well off in our society and on worker’s rights.


Slashing people’s employment rights under the guise of ownership schemes won’t create jobs and it won’t create growth.


His attempts to dupe the electorate that he knows what he is doing have been rumbled. George Osborne has as much knowledge about economics as a stick of rhubarb.


George Osborne’s claims to protect public services are laughable. Billions of pounds of cuts mean growing NHS waiting lists, job losses and those who deliver our services being asked to do more for less every single day.”


Read more on the Conservative Conference here.


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