The Workers Union has given its view on the chancellor’s budget plans.
The announcement came after Rishi Sunak pledged to extend furlough until the end of September. Mr Sunak also confirmed that a £5bn ‘restart grant’ will be made available to businesses. The extra cash is designed to kickstart economic recovery by creating a pool of money to help companies get moving after lockdown ends.
The chancellor also offered encouragement to the self-employed by committing to a fourth grant covering 80 percent of revenues from February to April 2021. The cash will be capped at a figure of £7,500.
The Workers Union on the Chancellor’s Budget Statement
We broadly welcome the chancellor’s budget statement. The move to extend furlough and support for the self-employed until September shows that this is a man that understands the difficulties that many people face in their day-to-day lives.
In promising to do ‘whatever it takes’ he has shown that he is prepared to take tough decisions about where to spend the nation’s money.
But the government must not use the state of public finances to cut spending on essential services to the bone.
Mr Sunak has said he plans to fund day-to-day spending from taxation by 2025, with borrowing limited to investment only.
If we are to suppose that funding business as usual from taxation is even possible, the realities of the post-pandemic world are likely to bite. The NHS still needs a vital cash boost to help it recover. Schools and teaching are going to require a massive investment to help students catch up on lost learning. School leavers need more investment in jobs, training and skills – and that’s before anyone begins to acknowledge the social care elephant in the room.
We have long argued that working people will be the engine of this country’s recovery, so cutting spending on essential services will cause unnecessary pain. Yes we have tough choices to make. But those choices should not push vulnerable people closer to the edge.
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