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  • Lack of funding for public services and public sector pay is “the elephant in the room”, says TUC

Commenting on today’s (Wednesday) budget, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:

“The Chancellor spoke about a high-wage and high-skills economy but did nothing to deliver it. The UK is still in the longest pay squeeze for more than 200 years. And our public services are still run-down and understaffed.

“There is no plan to get wages rising across the economy. Real wages will not return to 2008 levels until 2026. And the elephant in the room is the lack of funding for our public services and the pay rises needed to recruit and retain nurses, carers and teachers.

“We need a fully-funded workforce plan across our public services to recruit and retain key workers. And we need an investment plan to rebuild services – from fixing school buildings that are falling apart to restoring public health services.”

On proposals to expand free childcare provision, Paul said:

“The expansion of funded childcare is long overdue and follows years of union campaigning. But we are concerned that the funding promised today falls short of what’s needed.

“To fix childcare for good, childcare workers need better pay and conditions. Otherwise, it will be impossible to recruit and retain the staff needed. Ministers must boost pay in the sector and fund their promises properly, or families and staff will be badly let down.”

On the extension of the Energy Price Guarantee, Paul said:

“Families should never have faced a cliff-edge in their energy bills, so the extension of the guarantee will provide some relief. But millions of families will still face impossible choices following years of cuts to pay and social security that this budget did nothing to address.”

Editors note

- TUC budget submission: The main recommendations from the TUC’s budget submission are:

  • Fund decent pay rises for all public service workers that at least match the cost of living and begin to restore earnings lost over the last decade. 
  • Make sure everyone pays their fair share of taxes by equalising capital gains tax rates with income tax as a first step to fair taxes on wealth. And by extending the windfall tax on oil and gas giants and closing the loopholes that make it light touch.
  • Outline an investment plan in public services to fill staff vacancies, clear backlogs and meet the Prime Minister’s promise of “world-class” public services.  
  • Invest in a just transition to a secure green energy future, slashing dependence on volatile imported gas, and introducing public ownership to the energy sector.
  • Reduce the energy price guarantee, from £2,500 to £2,000 form April 2023 onwards and improve support for businesses struggling with energy costs.

The full TUC budget submission is here:

- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.


TUC press office  
020 7467 1248 

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