News today (Friday 25 January) that the economy is sliding further into decline, coupled with the admission by the deputy prime minister that his government has committed serious errors in its management of the economy, has exposed it as failing the nation, says Unite, the country's biggest union.
With the latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures showing that the economy has contracted further, with sharp falls in manufacturing in particular, Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey called again for the government to change course: "This is now an urgent question of acting in the national interest. This government has been exposed as failures and fraudsters, and firmly responsible for the continued ruination of our economy.
"In the past 24 hours alone, George Osborne’s one-gear cuts only policy has been demolished. The IMF’s call for him to cease his austerity obsession, the disastrous GDP figures and now his own deputy prime minister’s admission that it was wrong to shrink spending in the teeth of a global recession all tell the same story: you have got it seriously wrong.
"While Cameron and Osborne dined out in Davos and cosied up to international capital, mums and dads here are worrying that they will not have enough food to feed the kids this week and millions of householders are terrified to put on the heating. These people urgently need to hear that the government will stop the hardship it has imposed upon them.
"The penny may well have dropped with Nick Clegg that the government of which he is a senior member was wrong to attack spending, but his words offer nothing to the 20,000 people thrown onto the dole queue in the past three weeks alone, they won’t revive our pock-marked high streets and they offer nothing for the millions more for whom life under this shambles of a government is bleak.
“George Osborne cannot now be serious about plans to rip ever bigger chunks out of national spending well into this decade. He cannot keep hacking the limbs off the body of our economy in the hope that it will walk again because, as he has been told repeatedly, it will not."
Unite has urged the government to invest the economy to good health through housing and infrastructure projects and by compelling the banks to use the £350 billion of public money they are hoarding to support businesses in need.
For further information, please contact Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
- 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.