date: 10 December 2003
embargo: For immediate release
Attention: education, economic, industrial and political correspondents
Commenting on the publication of todays pre-Budget report, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'This is rightly an upbeat report on an economy doing better than its competitors. The UK economy is set to deliver the Governments generous public spending commitments with no need for tax hikes.
'There is much to welcome in the detail. We are particularly pleased to see the increase in help with childcare costs, and the big boost in investment in skills. This is a real agenda for the workplace.
'Our one concern is that the Chancellor seems to be saying that public sector bodies will be expected to use the new lower inflation measure, whilst everyone else will be using the established price index. If this is going to be used to hold down wages, it will send alarm bells ringing throughout the public sector. We will be seeking further discussions with the Chancellor on this as soon as possible.'
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Issued: 10 December, 2003