Responding to mini budget, which announced tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, but no help to get wages rising in the current cost of living crisis, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
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“This budget is Robin Hood in reverse. We should be rewarding work, not wealth. But at the first opportunity, Liz Truss is holding down wages and lining the pockets of big corporations and City bankers. The party of pay cuts strikes again.
“We need a very different plan in the full autumn budget to do right by workers. The Chancellor should boost the minimum wage, universal credit and pensions before winter sets in. He should fund pay rises in the public sector that keep up with prices. And ministers should extend collective pay bargaining rights across the economy so that whatever your job, you can negotiate a fair pay rise.”
“Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly. But the right to strike to defend pay and conditions is a fundamental British freedom. And it’s the last line of defence against employers who refuse to negotiate fair pay. These new restrictions are unworkable, very likely illegal and designed to hold down pay across the economy.”
“Ministers are letting oil and gas giants use Britain like a cash machine with no withdrawal limit. We need a much higher windfall tax on greedy energy companies to protect families from profiteering. That could fund free home improvements so that families don’t lose money by leaking heat from their homes.”
The TUC’s submission to the Treasury in advance of mini budget called for the following actions:
Bring forward inflation proof increases in the minimum wage, universal credit and pensions to October to help families through the cost-of-living emergency.
Get the minimum wage on a path to £15 an hour as soon as possible.
Give public service staff a real-terms pay rise that at least matches the rising cost of living and begins to restore earnings lost over the last decade.
Strengthen and extend collective bargaining across the economy, including introducing fair pay agreements to set minimum pay across whole sectors.
Impose a larger windfall tax on oil and gas companies that that are profiteering from UK families.
Make sure everyone pays their fair share of taxes by going ahead with increases in corporate tax, and equalising capital gains tax rates with income tax as a first step to fair taxes on wealth. ■