Parliament held its first debate on the Independent Budget Review report yesterday.
I submitted a detailed briefing to MSPs setting out UNISON's response to the key recommendations. The key points included:
• The financial projections, whilst disastrous for public services and the economy, actually understate the scale of cuts in local services.
• There is a credible economic alternative to cuts in public spending.
• The privatisation of Scottish Water would contribute nothing to the capital budget; result in higher bills to the charge payer and transfer control of Scotland’s greatest asset abroad.
• Outsourcing will cost more and break up integrated service delivery.
• Shared services will make, at best, only a long term contribution to cost savings.
• It is unfair to ask public service workers to pay for the failure of private corporate folly through pay cuts and reduced pensions.
• Universal provision is more efficient and contributes to a better performing more equal society.
• Cuts at this level and at this time in the economic cycle, will damage the economy and result in huge job cuts in the private as well as the public sector.
Rather than simply implementing the UK governments ideological cuts parliamentarians should be championing a better way forward. that route can be found at UNISON Public Works and the STUC Better Way websites.