Responding to today’s (Monday 29 October) budget delivered by the chancellor Philip Hammond, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Austerity is not over. Despite the chancellor’s desperate efforts at make believe, back in the real world there is still the horror to come of billions of pounds slashed from public spending.

“The truth is Theresa May leads a government of historic low growth and shrunken wages that has trapped our people in a never-ending decline in living standards.

“Talk of a ‘jobs miracle’ is simply an insult. It will certainly be news to those juggling two and three jobs for whom it is miraculous if they manage to make ends meet from week-to-week. They’d far rather the chancellor provided a few extra quid to feed and clothe the family than focused on the trifling gimmick of a Brexit 50p coin.

“On Universal Credit, right across the country people are living in absolute terror of what is coming their way. Weeks without money, the threat of eviction, a reliance on foodbanks. This is simply not good enough for the sixth largest economy on the planet.

“Mr Hammond could have used today to allay their very real fears and save families and their children from certain poverty. He did not, and what he proposed did not go far enough. On that basis we back the call for MPs to vote down this budget.

“Austerity was always a political choice, and the Tories’ choice was to make the people pay for the greed of the banking elite. It is high time they took their tired, failing ideas and moved out of the way.

“We need a government that will actually invest in decent homes, jobs, wages and public services, one that can create a hopeful vision for the UK after Brexit and where the chronic under-funding of our schools, hospitals and police will cease.

“Today we needed a budget for the many. Instead we got one for the few.

“When it comes down to it, it is a typical Tory budget. All tricks and ruses, and absolutely no treats for the most vulnerable in our society.”

For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.