This is permanent austerity and a 16 per cent pay cut for public sector staff

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date: 29 November 2011

embargo: immediate

Responding to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement today (Tuesday), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'None of the Chancellor's post-election assumptions have turned out to be true. Growth has stalled, the Eurozone has crashed, the structural deficit is bigger than previously thought and unemployment continues to rise as the private sector fails to take up the public sector slack.

'The Chancellor's stubborn determination to stick to his plan A despite the evidence that it is not working and won't work in the future means that we are locked into permanent austerity.

'Of course there were some welcome moves in the statement as the Chancellor tries to reinvent infrastructure spending, youth employment and regional assistance programmes. But the catch is that they are being paid for by freezing tax credits, holding back public sector pay and increasing public sector job losses to 710,000 by 2017. Those with the broadest backs who caused the crash have escaped once again.

'Cutting employment rights will not create a single extra job, but they will make employees feel more insecure and even less likely to spend.

'His refusal to back a Robin Hood tax and make nurses pay instead speaks volumes about his values. Public servants are no longer being asked to make a temporary sacrifice, but accept a permanent deep cut in their living standards that will add up to over 16 per cent by 2015 when you include pay and pension contributions.

'It is no wonder that the government has alienated its entire workforce who are coming together in unprecedented unity tomorrow to take a stand against such unfair treatment.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

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

- Further analysis of the Autumn Statement is available at www.touchstoneblog.org.uk

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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