George Osborne’s credibility is in tatters following today’s (Wednesday 5 December) autumn statement, claimed Britain’s largest union Unite as it accused him of leading the economy down the road to ruin.
Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, said: “George Osborne’s credibility is in tatters. His addiction to austerity has strangled growth and risks not just deferring recovery but trashing the economy altogether. He is cutting his way to national calamity.
“Borrowing is up and tax receipts are down, while incomes are squeezed and consumer confidence evaporates. Once thriving high streets are becoming pock-marked with boarded up shops and ‘for sale’ signs thanks to Osborne’s failure.
"And the threat of a spending review early next year suggests that there is worse to come.
"He is caught in the same death spiral as we saw to grim effect in Greece and Ireland, announcing one set of plans and targets, failing to meet them, cutting more, setting more targets and so on and so on.
"Even by his own standards his failure is miserable. Growth targets are missed and the country faces a bigger deficit at the next election than when he took over as chancellor.
"Last year’s promise of £21 billion in investment has failed to materialise. £5 billion worth of investment has to be welcomed, but it is small beer given the scale of the problems before us, and much of that money is earmarked to deliver the highly political free schools programme while low income kids cannot stay in education.
"Working men and women will ask, where are the jobs? Are my loved ones better off? Can we face the future without fear? This statement offers them no change and no hope.
“Osborne’s chill wind is howling through the households of millions of ordinary people. It will punish our people for years to come unless we have a change of course and a government that invests in growth and jobs.”
For further information contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Alex Flynn, Unite head of media and campaigns, on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665 869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.