GMB reaction to the budget

Chancellor Misses Moral Target Of Making The Elite Pay The Same Rate Of Tax As Their Cleaners
12 Mar 2008

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said:

“The Chancellor has bowed to pressure from the multi-millionaire elite who run the private equity and financial institutions to enable them to continue to receive income as capital gains. He has missed the moral target of making this buccaneering elite, whose recklessness is a contributory cause of the turbulence in the world’s credit markets and the trouble that it will visit on ordinary citizens, pay the same rate of tax on their income as their cleaners.

His approach to public services pay and to those on incapacity benefit is sharply different. He wants to hold down public sector pay below inflation. This attempt to cut living standards will be met with resistance and will undermine morale.
His requirement that those on incapacity benefit must attend work capability assessments is based on the false notion that the high levels of claimants in some areas is due to the fact that these people to not want work. He fails to see it for the labour market issue that it really is. In areas with high employment rates, like Berkshire, there are low rates of people on incapacity benefits, while in places with low employment rates, in the former industrial areas like South Wales, there are very high rates of people on incapacity benefits.

The Chancellor needs to face up to the fact that in today’s labour market able bodied and fully fit workers get jobs ahead of those who are disabled and those not fully fit. The unpalatable truth is that the problem lies with the lack demand from employers for these workers. Why does the Chancellor think GMB put up such a fight to stop the Government sacking 2,500 disabled Remploy workers as they close 30 factories? Most of these Remploy workers will never work again.”

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