Aberdeenshire UNISON

Austerity economics don't add up - UNISON Report October 2014

Austerity scales'Austerity' policies are harming the economy, have created a cost of living crisis and are putting our public services under intense pressure. That is the stark message from UNISON's Report on public services and the economy, published in October 2014

Click here to read the report

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "We have said for a long time that the UK Con Dem Coalition Government austerity policy would not work and would damage the economy and it is very clear that this is exactly what has happened.

"The Government said that austerity was necessary to cut public sector debt. But their cuts killed off an emerging recovery in 2010, their policies have increased the debt and the economy has taken much longer than after previous recessions to climb into the current very weak recovery.

"Chancellor George Osborne wants us to believe the recovery is robust and happened thanks to his cuts. But surely now people can see that's not true in the way they have begun to see through Tory claims that 'we're all in this together' or that the NHS is safe in their hands.

Oxfam Infogram"As Oxfam's infogram shows, it's those at the bottom rung of the ladder, those who need most support, who are hardest hit.

"As we always said, austerity was introduced for ideological reasons – to justify brutal public spending cuts. And the results are very clear. The assault on pay and conditions is harming families, particularly the most vulnerable. The cost of living squeeze while the price of essentials soars andwelfare benefits are slashed, has seen the value of average workers' pay fall by more than £2,000 a year since 2010.

"At the same time, the wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain has doubled to £519 billion since 2009, about two and a half times the annual deficit.

"Oxfam estimates that the richest three families in Scotland own more wealth than the poorest 20% put together.

"Such inequality hurts the economy and the £6 billion cuts in Scotland are also harming services that we all rely on daily.

"UNISON's "The Cuts Don't Work" report shows that key Scottish services, already under immense pressure, face further deep cuts in the next few years.

"When almost two thirds of those children living in poverty have one or borh parents in work, it is very clear austerity is not working.

"Rather it is damaging people's lives and health, hitting low-paid women hard, causing misery, risking a lost generation of young people who can't find work, and creating greater levels of income inequality, which is bad for the economy, for those on the lowest incomes and for society in general."

Please go and read UNISON's report.