The Workers Union has urged the government to stop ‘driving down’ and attacking the living standards of ordinary hard working people.
Chief Spokesman issued a strongly-worded attack after the government rejected calls to help new parents.
In excess of 260,000 people signed a petition to extend statutory maternity pay by 12 weeks. The signatories also demanded that maternity leave was extended by the same period. Supporters of the initiative said this would help parents bond with their babies by attending support groups that were unavailable throughout lockdown.
However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has rejected such concerns outright. In a reply to the pensions committee it said: ‘The cost to the Exchequer of this support for parents runs to billions of pounds, which is ultimately funded by the taxpayer. The Committee’s analysis estimates that the cost of extending paid parental leave for three months would run to the high hundreds of millions.’
The statement went on to describe the existing arrangements as ‘sufficiently generous’.
The Workers Union says
The news that the government has chosen to put figures over futures is depressing as it is predictable. Just last week we learned that planned increases to the minimum wage might be junked. Now it’s the turn of new parents to feel the pain of cabinet mismanagement. Let’s be clear about this: it’s another attempt to pass the burden of recovery on to working people. If these – very sensible – initiatives are now “unaffordable” it can only be because we are spending money in the wrong places. A regime that forces multi-nationals to pay their fair share of tax would balance the books and create a more equitable society. But this is just hitting people who can least afford it square in the pocket.
The truth is, COVID-19 has transformed the way that we live. And yet it doesn’t seem to have transformed our leaders’ understanding of people outside the political classes. This government needs to wake up and offer the new deal that hard working people deserve.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union