Commenting on ONS figures which show that the current public sector budget deficit was £6.7 billion in October 2012, a £2.3 billion higher deficit than in October 2011, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "George Osborne will go down as the chancellor that stole Christmas. He has lost all economic credibility but it's ordinary working families who are struggling to put food on the table this winter because of his failure. The chancellor is driving the economy the wrong way and he is refusing to turn around.
"It is a damning condemnation of this government that a growing number of people in this country can't even afford the basics and growing numbers are falling into the clutches of legal loan sharks.
"The Tories came to power claiming they would restore the country's public finances, but they have actually made things far worse. Just in the last 48 hours almost 20,000 of our members' jobs have been put at risk or they are facing pay cuts because business confidence is so low.
"Britain desperately needs bold policies to boost the economy and brave leaders who are prepared to rebuild the nation."
The ONS figures also showed that corporation tax receipts fell nearly 10 per cent in October, a month when there is usually a heavy inflow to boost the public coffers.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
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.