Budget ‘is little use to workers’

Workers: Lynn Collins

Workers: Lynn Collins

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Union leaders today slammed George Osborne’s Summer Budget as “doing nothing for working people.”

The Chancellor announced a string of measures including a higher “living wage” for over 25, a cut in tax credits and a new public sector pay cap.

Lynn Collins, North West TUC regional secretary, said: “We have a Budget here that does very little for workers as the Chancellor would like to claim.

“What they give with one hand in pay increases, they take with another from tax credits.

“They give inheritance tax cuts but take from young people with reliant on housing benefit.”

She added: “This isn’t a fair budget, nor a budget we need. There needed to be much more about investment in good quality, well-paid jobs that would in turn help the Treasury through higher tax receipts and lower benefit payments.”

Mr Osborne announced a “living wage” for over-25s of £7.20 an hour, rising to £9 by 2020.

But there was no meaningful rise for the public sector.

Ms Collins said: “The government can talk of a pay rise for Britain; they just don’t want to mention the workers they employ won’t share in this.

“A one per cent pay rise in each of the next four years, on top of the same cap in each of the last five years, will leave many more millions of workers worse off.”

The union chief added: “The Chancellor’s ‘Living Wage’ is nothing more than a renaming of the minimum wage.

“We welcome a higher minimum wage, which is what this is. But let’s not call it something it isn’t – the Living Wage rate, set by the Living Wage Foundation and supported by Boris Johnson in London, is much higher.”