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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


More dismal news in the UK Budget today. The Chancellor has by passed the chance to scale back the savage public spending cuts, condemning the economy to long-term low growth and high unemployment.

He quietly slipped out the downgraded growth forecast for 2011 from 2.1% to 1.7%. The result of his CSR announcement last October. But don't worry, we are going for growth by tax cuts for big business. Apart from the fact that there is not a scrap of evidence that Corporation Tax cuts do anything for jobs and the economy, most companies don't pay the full amount anyway. They move cash around tax havens aided by our weak tax regime. Our members pay their taxes through PAYE, the rich and big business dodge their responsibilities to society.

See Richard Murphy's blog for the low down (and it is very low) on the Chancellor's latest handout for his tax dodging pals. He points out that large companies can now shift large amounts of their profit offshore and pay just 5.75% on them - a further tax cut for big bsuiness. It also encourages multinational corporations to move functions and employment out of the UK - not bring them to the UK. Which is in itself amazing.

And then we get de-regulation. Including the implementation of Lord Young's report on health and safety. We already know that the HSE is planning to cut unannounced inspections by a third. Put simply, more workers will be injured and die as a result of this decision.

The Chancellor also failed to mention a further piece of bad news - the OBR anticipates an additional 130,000 people will be unemployed in 2012. Youth unemployment is particularly worrying, with nearly a million under-25s out of work – more than 400,000 in excess of six months.

A budget for jobs and growth? I think not.

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