GMB: Budget 2016 does nothing for NHS and care sector members
In a swift response to the chancellor’s 2016 Budget, the trade union GMB has condemned the package for failing to support those in the health sector.
The GMB, which represents thousands of workers, has reacted critically to the Chancellor’s announcements, claiming its members are ‘worse off every time he takes to the despatch box.’
The union warned that ‘storm clouds are gathering' after learning that further savings would be found from the health sector while corporations enjoy yet another tax cut, and laid the blame squarely at the doorstep of Number 11.
“After 6 years with an austerity chancellor, there is no one else to blame, the government’s plan has failed,” it said.
The GMB felt that an additional £3.5bn in cuts each year, while continuing with the ‘crippling’ £22bn of 'efficiency savings' in the NHS, ‘completely ignores the crisis in care.’ This feeling was amplified by giveaways for the wealthiest companies who receive another reduction in corporation tax to 17%.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said "The chancellor has missed so many of his own economic targets that in the real world of work he’d have been laid off long ago. It's like setting your own test questions but still managing to fail the exam.
“He tried to balance the books on the backs of working people and at the expense of our public services - it hasn't worked, it won't work and it's wrong. By clinging to his failed austerity policies he's not only making life harder for thousands of people in the here and now, he's putting the future of UK jobs, skills and industry at risk.”
The union was heavily critical of the state of the economy citing the rising number of precarious and zero hour contracts, and the unsustainable level of personal debt, currently estimated to be £1.46tn.
It also blamed the Chancellor for the dwindling manufacturing sector, failing to support the steel industry, and said that paltry measures such as the new minimum wage ‘don't come close to the living wage people need to live on.’
Roache added: “To say this was a budget for future generations is laughable when this Chancellor has presided over policies that have seen the trebling of university tuition fees and removal of maintenance grants, the scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance for working class kids, and an axe taken to the further education sector that we need to equip people for the changing world of work."
Get the inside track on what MPs and Peers are talking about. Sign up to The House's morning email for the latest insight and reaction from Parliamentarians, policy-makers and organisations.