Today has been a no-change budget, says TUC

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date: 23 March 2011

embargo: For immediate release

Responding to the budget today (Wednesday), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'Today has been a no-change budget.

'The Chancellor has been forced to reveal the evidence that his policies aren't working but has not had the courage to change them.

'Today's measures do nothing to end the basic error of imposing deep, rapid and unfair spending cuts on an economy where unemployment is rising and growth faltering.

'While there are some welcome measures on funding for apprenticeships and much needed relief on fuel duty, most of today is about taking us back to the 1980s with deregulation gimmicks, hand-outs to big business and a deterioration of working conditions that failed to deliver jobs or growth then and won't today.

'Overall, there was little in the way of help for hard pressed ordinary people fearful for their jobs and reeling from inflation driven by the VAT increase. And for the young unemployed the best the Chancellor had to offer was cut-price unpaid work experience.

'Now workers learn that they are set for stealth increases in their tax every year as the Chancellor switches tax rate increases to CPI in the same way that he has already hit pensions and benefits.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

- The TUC March for the Alternative is taking place in central London on Saturday 26 March. The march will form up from 11am on the Victoria Embankment between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges and proceed through central London until reaching Hyde Park, where the rally will start from around 1.30pm.

- Further info about the logistics of the march and reasons why people are marching for an alternative to the cuts is available at www.marchforthealternative.org.uk

- People wanting to find out about transport to the march in their local area should visit www.falseeconomy.org.uk/themarch

- Journalists wanting to arrange interviews with TUC leaders before the march or looking for media access to the march and rally should speak to the TUC press office.

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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