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Autumn Statement Gives ‘Warm Words But Cold Comfort’ To Working People

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Union slams Chancellor for siding with vested interests and propping up the broken status quo when real change is needed.

The Tory’s meagre mini-budget is a futile attempt to hide policies which make life much harder for most Brits, according to GMB.


In his Autumn Statement, delivered to the House of Commons later today, Chancellor Philip Hammond will unveil a list of pledges designed to be eye-catching – but which spectacularly miss the real issues facing working people in Britain.

As the winter sets in, Theresa May’s Government's first chance to show the country they are really on the side of working people has instead seen their mask slipping.

The statement proves she is in keeping with the Tory tradition of siding with vested interests and propping up the broken status quo. 

GMB highlights some of the hypocrisy of Tory warm words against the stark reality of life for working people:

  • A "living wage" you can't live on:

The measly rise in the so-called National Living Wage of 30p, leaves 330,000 workers under 25 without even this guarantee. The Homeless Link found that four in 10 under 25-year-olds will at some time find themselves homeless because their parents cannot or do not want them at home – and age discrimination in the legal minimum wage can only make this worse. [1]

  • A drop in the ocean when it comes to housing need:

The announcement of 40,000 affordable homes is a truly pathetic fig leaf to hide the government’s naked lack of housing policy – affordable home building dipped to a 24-year low just last week. [2]

  • More month than money after pay day and rising personal debt

Household debt is up to pre-crash levels and Bank of England is worried. More and more people are needing to use credit to get from one end of the month to another - squeezed living standards means debt is rising and ordinary people pay for the bankers crash - this is unfair and increasingly dangerous. [3]

  • Complete lack of action on minimum wage avoiders

Just three out of a possible 700 companies named and shamed since February 2014 have been prosecuted – or just 0.4% [4]

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: 

“We have a new Prime Minister, but it's the same old Tory Party in Number 10, siding with vested interests and propping up the broken status quo. The Chancellor's warm words today will be cold comfort for struggling families. 

“The Prime Minister promised dramatic change this summer, she claimed to be on the side of working people who are struggling to get by - ignoring the inconvenient truth that the reason people are struggling in the first place is due to years of failed Tory policies.

“In the most uncertain times since the Second World War, Philip Hammond is tinkering feebly around the edges when the country is crying out for bold, urgent and real change. "

ENDS 

Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

Spokespeople available for interview

[1] http://www.homeless.org.uk/connect/news/2014/jan/27/nearly-half-of-under-25s-become-homeless-because-parents-no-longer-willing 

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38015368 

[3] http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cardsloans/article-3539847/Household-debt-binge-hits-pre-crisis-levels-says-Bank-England.html 

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/28/only-three-out-of-700-firms-prosecuted-for-paying-below-minimum-wage 

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