GMB Congress Disturbed By Ed Balls 'No Hope' Message And Attack On Universal Benefits And Public Sector Workers. Further Austerity Isn't The Way To Win Voter Support
GMB commented on speech by Ed Balls today
GMB Congress is now meeting in Plymouth. There are 500 lay GMB member delegates in Plymouth till Thursday 6th June. Delegates are members who have been elected to represent over 620,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland. They are employed in every sector of the economy.
Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary, said “Delegates at GMB Congress are disturbed that Mr Balls was arguing for continuing this government’s austerity plans for at least two years after the next election and possibly beyond.
What makes this a really perplexing speech is because everyone who wants to support Labour is crying out for a new hope and a new direction. Indeed this seemed to be the message coming from Ed Miliband but now Mr Balls has out Osborne'd Osborne.
Saying so far in advance of the next election that Labour will do nothing substantially different until at least 2017 shows a complete absence of aspiration for ordinary working families. They want to hear that Labour will get them out of this coalition government mess not leave them stuck in it.
Furthermore, the idea floated by Mr Balls that Labour would end the principle of the universal winter fuel benefit is a retrograde step which will be highly divisive, unfair and yield little real benefit. Badging it as a contribution to the health and care budget holes is laughable.
What isn't so funny is the repetition of the belief that public sector workers pay has to be kept down to preserve jobs. This is a fake Tory argument that Mr Balls shouldn't be peddling.
Ending universal benefits and carrying on with pay restraint are against GMB policy."
Contact: Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary 07860 606 137 or GMB Press Office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823