Figures out today (Friday 1 March) showing a shock contraction in manufacturing rounded off another dire week for the British economy and signal yet more misery for ordinary families at the hands of government austerity.
The warning from Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, follows today’s Markit/CIPS purchasing mangers’ index (PMI) which shows manufacturers are laying off people at the fastest rate since late 2009.
The index for manufacturing fell to 47.9 last month and was the first reading below 50 - which indicates contraction – since November.
With output and new orders both falling in February, the figures round off a calamitous week for the government which saw Britain stripped of its AAA rating and George Osborne’s credibility in tatters.
Commenting, Tony Burke, Unite assistant general secretary, said: “These are dire figures and yet more evidence that the government’s austerity programme is sucking demand out of the economy.
“It rounds off a week in which the UK was stripped of its AAA rating and leaves any economic credibility George Osborne and the government had left in tatters.
“Government claims that it wants to boost manufacturing, ring hollow for the skilled men and women who have lost their jobs and face a future of uncertainty.
“When will the penny drop with government that what we need is a proper state backed British investment bank as part of strategy that promotes jobs and growth?”
For further information contact 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.