Issue date
16 Nov 2016

Download TUC submission to the Autumn Statement (PDF)

In summary, to demonstrate its commitment to a country that works for everyone, Government should:

Ensure that working people don’t pay the price of Brexit

  • Set out a plan for a post Brexit deal that protects workers jobs and rights. The TUC believes this would best be achieved by remaining within the single market.

Stabilise the economy and deliver more sustained and balanced growth through investment in infrastructure and public services

  • Announce a significant and sustained programme of infrastructure spending, with a strong regional dimension. This should include measures to tackle the UK housing crisis, and to help meet our climate change commitments, as well as action to improve the connectivity of the UK economy through transport and broadband improvements.
  • Invest in the vital social infrastructure delivered through public services, through investment in the NHS, social care and Local Government, and an end to the damaging and unnecessary proposals for grammar schools.
  • Expand the funds available to help communities facing the greatest pressures from migration.

Reform the economy to deliver a sustainable increase in better jobs

  • Maintain the pledge to deliver three million new apprenticeships through the apprenticeship levy, building the skills that Britain needs to succeed.
  • Deliver on the commitment to include workers on company boards within a year, and build on this with a plan for more employee involvement in delivering higher productivity workplaces.
  • Ensure that these commitments are backed with action to tackle excessive executive pay.
  • Set out a timetable for consulting with unions and business on an industrial strategy that delivers more and better jobs, in line with our climate commitments, and set out an immediate action plan to support British steel.
  • Recognise the importance of science to any future industrial success, and ensure that the decision to leave the EU does not affect its continued success.

Give working people a pay rise

  • Stick to the commitment that the National Living Wage will reach 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020, and extend it to workers aged 21-24. The TUC believe that the aim of the Low Pay Commission should be to get the National Living Wage to £10 as soon as possible.
  • End the public sector pay cap, and allow public service wages to be determined according to the needs of each sector through collective bargaining between employers and unions, or through genuinely autonomous and independent Pay Review Bodies where appropriate.
  • Reverse planned cuts to Universal Credit that will leave working families with children £1,300 a year worse off.

Ensure that working people can realise their rights

  • Abolish the employment tribunal fees that are stopping workers from tackling injustices at work.
  • Increase the budget for enforcing the national minimum wage and employment law, through increasing funding to HMRC and the agencies enforcing employment rights, including the Gangmasters Licencing Authority, Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate, and Health and Safety Executive.

Boost retirement incomes

  • Lower the earnings threshold at which workers are automatically included in workplace pensions.
  • Set out a plan to increase contribution rates to ensure a decent retirement income.