Issue date
Commenting on today’s budget statement from chancellor Rishi Sunak, Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:

“The chancellor is making a dangerous bet on the economy bouncing back on its own. He is gambling with the recovery when he should have acted to create jobs.

“We are in the worst recession of our lifetimes. We saw nothing like the investment we need to stop unemployment and fund long overdue investment in Wales’ infrastructure that could create tens of thousands of good quality green jobs.

“The last-minute extension of furlough, while welcome, ends too soon, which will risk jobs and businesses. Cutting universal credit in October will risk family incomes. And failing to fix decent sick pay for all risks more infections and another lockdown.”

Where the budget falls short

The budget falls far short of the level of action called for in the TUC’s budget submission.

The overall level of public investment to stimulate recovery has not been increased by the budget.

The TUC budget submission called for the chancellor to:

  • Extend the job retention scheme to the end of 2021, and bring in a wage floor to prevent furlough pay falling below the minimum wage
  • Provide the funding needed to support a £6 billion investment in green infrastructure in Wales to create 60 thousand jobs over the next two years.
  • Make permanent the £20 per week increase in universal credit, and end the five-week wait for new universal credit claimants to receive payment.
  • Fix statutory sick pay by raising it to £330 per week (to match the level of the real Living Wage) and extend eligibility to the two million low-paid workers currently excluded from SSP.
  • Raise the national minimum wage to at least £10 per hour.
  • Increase child benefit and child tax credit and remove the two-child limit.