Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Public Services Cuts Will 'Do Little to Narrow Inequalities' PUBLIC SECTOR

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Public Services Cuts Will 'Do Little to Narrow Inequalities' PUBLIC SECTOR

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE KELLY mike.kelly@ncjmedia.co.uk

Public sector workers in Trafalgar Square, London, take part in the one-day walkout over pay and conditions Public sector workers in Trafalgar Square, London, take part in the one-day walkout over pay and conditions UNION bosses have slammed Chancellor George Osborne's "savage" and "ideological cuts" to public services after yesterday's Budget.

They say his decision to limit public sector staff to 1% pay rises over the next four years comes after they have already borne the brunt of austerity measures since 2010 when the Coalition came into office.

And, with around 60,000 public sector job losses over the last five years in the North East, they say it's not only pay levels that are a concern, but how the services they provide are maintained.

Beth Farhat, regional secretary of the Northern TUC, said: "The Chancellor claims the economy is recovering, yet his savage and ideological cuts to public services continue regardless of the damage this will do.

"Yet again George Osborne has refused to give those who work in our public services a pay rise despite years of seeing their wages fall in real terms.

"Teachers, nurses, firefighters and dinner ladies did not cause the financial crisis, yet they are being treated as though they did.

"It's time they shared in any recovery and were treated with some respect."

She also condemned Mr Osborne's announcement that families who have a third child will not receive more child support than they would for two children, and the freeze on working benefits over the next four years. Ms Farhat said: "This is a Budget that will leave public services weaker, many people worse off and do little to narrow inequalities.

"While he is taking away from those working on relatively modest incomes, the Chancellor has chosen to reward the unearned income of those who inherit vast sums of wealth."

One unexpected measure in the Budget was plans to introduce a 'National Living Wage' at PS7. …

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