From Local Government

Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review 26th June 2013

Many of you will have seen on the news the announcement by the chancellor that he is to make a further £11.5 billion cuts in the public sector

For local government this means a further cut of £2.1 billion down to £23.5 billion, a cut of 8.2% excluding inflation.

We all know from personal experience that cuts in local government are already reaching the bone.

Sir Merrick Cockell is the chairman of the Local Government Association, and the leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and a Tory.

He said that the Coalition was pursuing “a feudal approach to local government” which would stretch essential services to breaking point.

The chancellor also announced an end to pay progression in the public sector and named the civil service, nurses and prison officers as groups of workers affected.  We do not believe that at this stage there is any threat to pay progression in local government as we are not employed by central government.

However he has re-stated the 1% cap on public sector pay.  Given we have had 3 years of a pay freeze and an award of 1% this year, workers are really feeling the squeeze.  Three quarters of council workers now earn less than £21,000. There is a growing gap between rich and poor.

400,000 jobs have already been lost in public services. Osborne announced yesterday that a further 144,000 would go by 2015/16.  Job losses are not protecting pay. We need to start the campaign now for a decent pay award in 2014.

Bernadette Gallagher     Branch Secretary     Bolton UNISON