The government’s comprehensive spending review will put hundreds of thousands of public sector workers out of work and is an unprecedented attack on the welfare state, public services, communities, jobs and benefits, says PCS.
Chancellor George Osborne has today announced 490,000 public sector jobs will be cut over the next five years, with a 41% cut at the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Ministry of Justice budget to be reduced by £1.3 billion, with a 24% reduction in CPS spending.
There will be a 26% cut to the DWP’s core budget and a £7 billion cut in welfare. Budgets will be slashed by 25% in business, skills and innovation, 29% at Defra and £1.5 billion reduction at the Home Office. The coalition also announced a 15% ‘resource saving’ at HMRC and a £1.8 billion cut in public sector pensions.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This spending review will throw a generation of people on the scrapheap. These cuts are a political choice, there is an alternative, not a penny needs to be cut, nor a single job lost.
Rather than attacking the vital services offered by our members and removing jobs from some of the most vulnerable communities across the UK the coalition should be creating jobs in both the public and private sectors, closing the £120 billion tax gap, introducing a Robin Hood Tax on banking speculation and investing in our future.
This announcement shows we are not all in this together but illustrates that it is the poorest in society who will have to bear the brunt of a crisis that was not of their making, while the millionaires in the cabinet massively increase the gap between the haves and have nots. With the increase in retirement age to 66 and a £1.8 billion cut in public sector pensions many people will be forced to pay much more for less.
The government has a vain hope that the private sector, at a time of recession and growing unemployment, will take up the slack in the labour market, but there is little indication how these jobs will be created.
We are united in opposition to these cuts and are ready to take co-ordinated action with other unions and community groups to build an opposition to these cuts and overturn them.”