David Cameron’s economic speech today (Thursday 7 March) was “a textbook lesson in complacency and incompetence”, Unite, the largest union in the country, said.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “David Cameron failed to address the key issues facing the British economy which is how to inject extra cash into people’s pockets and introduce steps to kick-start lending by banks to promote job creation.
“This speech will not offer a shred of hope to people in the real economy who see job losses and wage shrinkages, while the banking elite who caused this mess is celebrating with multi-million bonuses and billions of pounds of taxpayers' money is sitting in vaults to serve the banks' interests, instead of being put to work in the national interest.
“One of the most important measures that should be adopted is an immediate £1-an-hour increase in the national minimum wage from the current rate of £6.19. This would put money into the wallets and purses of some of the lowest paid people in the UK - and it would cut the benefit bill without the cruelty this government is about to unleash.
“Cameron is living an economic cloud cuckoo land. Last month the whole foundation of his government's economic policy was rocked when the UK's credit rating was cut from the stellar AAA rating to the less optimistic AA1. This was his government's own test of competence and it failed.
"He ought to have stood before the nation today and apologised, but instead he stubbornly refuses to shake the austerity addiction.
“This speech was a textbook lesson in complacency and incompetence that flew in the face of the everyday reality that working people are experiencing.”
- For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940