07/01/2013 - Frances O’Grady: the economy is sick and the Government’s medicine is not working

In her first day leading the umbrella group for unions, which represents more than six million British workers, the new TUC general secretary claims "the Tories are the “nasty” party for reducing the living standards of the poorest while calling them scroungers" and added “We were told that short-term pain would deliver long-term gain, yet all we see are nasty side-effects with no sign of a cure.

“What is worse is that we now seem to be locked into a vicious downward spiral of cuts. They are not working so the government cuts even more.

“Reducing the living standards of some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society, while attempting to tar them all as scroungers, is perhaps the very definition of a party determined to be seen as nasty.”
On Ms O’Grady's 'Wants List' for the coming year are:-
  • The government to abandon the austerity measures and cuts and increase investment in jobs and apprenticeships.
  • A new industrial policy, including investment in the country’s infrastructure, homes and transport.
  • A fair society – with the poorest paid the Living Wage, more done to stop tax avoidance and evasion, and workers’ given a say on bosses’ pay.
But Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT rail union, warns of “all out class struggle” in the fight against the Tory-led Coalition’s cuts and austerity drive.
He said: “We pledge to make 2013 the year that we step up the class fightback against the gang of rich kids forcing their policy of austerity down workers throats.”
A pledge chief executive of ACAS, John Taylor seems to concur with, and adding a warning that 2013 will see increasing “tensions and conflicts” over pay.
He said pressure on employers to keep wage costs under control could clash with demands from workers to catch up with the cost of living.
Report by Ian Bell