The chancellor Philip Hammond’s tunnel vision on austerity shows the Tory government is ignorant to the struggles of households across the country, Britain’s largest union Unite said today (Tuesday 13 March).

Responding to the spring statement Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:
“The chancellor Philip Hammond has snuffed out the ‘light at the end of tunnel’ for millions of people struggling to make ends meet by ignoring the growing calls to ditch the savage austerity that has pushed local councils to bankruptcy and wreaked havoc on our NHS.

“Sidestepping calls from his own party to reverse cuts to universal credit and to invest in our schools and hospitals, Philip Hammond’s tunnel vision on austerity shows the Tory government is ignorant to the struggles of households across the country.

“There was no recognition of the longest fall in living standards since the Napoleonic wars, the crisis in local government funding, or the need to be bolder on infrastructure and deliver an industrial strategy that actively supports our key manufacturing sectors.

“This was an opportunity for the chancellor to signal the government’s intent to invest in the economy to create decent well-paid jobs, to put money in people’s pockets by boosting the minimum wage and by giving all our public sector workers a properly funded pay rise.

“Instead, in the words of Theresa May ‘nothing has changed’ leaving services and local authorities on the brink of collapse.

“The Tory party is a party that has broken every promise made on the economy, because austerity does not work. The Tories are to blame for the pain households and our public services are enduring. They cannot be trusted with the economy.

“With the local government elections on the horizon, voters will be clear that only Labour will invest in our public services and deliver an economy that works for the many, not the few.”

ENDS

For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org

Notes to editors

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.