The growth in the economy is too London-centric and does not reflect what is really happening in the rest of the UK, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Thursday 25 October).
Unite welcomed the growth in gross domestic project (GDP) by one per cent in the last quarter, but said the construction industry’s contribution to GDP - down 2.5 per cent - was a more realistic barometer of the true state of the economy.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While any growth in the economy is to be welcomed, the picture is clouded by the artificial boost to the economy generated by Olympic ticket sales – a once-in-a-lifetime occasion - which was responsible for 0.2 per cent of this growth.
“Too much of the growth is centred on London and the service sector, a more realistic indicator is that the construction industry is still in the doldrums and its contribution to the last quarter’s GDP figures declined by 2.5 per cent.
"David Cameron and George Osborne’s austerity polices are still causing serious problems to the economy which remains flat. If you strip away the economic fillip created by the Olympic ticket sales, you have an economy stuck on the starting blocks with anaemic growth, and you still have the food banks on the rise and long-term unemployment on the increase.
"With some 90 per cent of the cuts still to come, consumer confidence is what we really need to recover, but with crippling income and housing cuts heading for the low waged there will be little chance of hope spreading beyond the M25.
"Investment in the Olympic Park and other Olympic facilities across the UK are the type of public infrastructure project that can pull Britain out of the economic mire.
“We don't need complacency from David Cameron and George Osborne. What we do need is urgent investment in housing and infrastructure to ignite demand in the economy in terms of jobs and spending power.”
Last week, Unite repeated its call for urgent government initiatives to tackle the plight of the long-term unemployed – those out of work for more than 12 months.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- 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.