Sheffield union boss accuses Chancellor of 'pork barrel dole-outs' to Tory areas
A Sheffield union boss has launched a stinging attack on the Chancellor accusing him of ‘pork barrel dole-outs’ to Conservative constituencies.
Martin Mayer, Sheffield TUC secretary, criticised Town Deals payments to Tory areas - including £24.1m for Stocksbridge and £23.1m for Goldthorpe - ‘but nothing for the rest of Sheffield’.
And he branded it an ‘austerity budget’ which froze pay for NHS and other public sector workers and offered no new money to the NHS, the care sector, education, local authorities or the fire service.
And while Rishi Sunak bowed to pressure not to cut the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, it will go in September.
Mr Mayer added: “There’s to be no public investment in desperately-needed council homes, green energy, public transport, insulation or digital technology.
“Instead we must rely on a fantasy free-enterprise bonanza of investment, massively subsidised by the public purse with an eye-watering 130 per cent offset on taxable profits.”
But most concerning was the Government’s ‘total abdication of responsibility’ for a green recovery to create good jobs and address climate change.
He added: “We welcome the new investment bank in Leeds – actually an idea borrowed from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Manifesto in 2019 - but the Tory version lacks political direction and seems geared to promote private sector investment whether green or not.
“This Budget makes clear that the Tories’ post-Brexit vision for the UK is a deregulated free-enterprise utopia based on cheap low-cost labour and a further rolling-back of the public sector.
“That means declining real incomes for the many, increasing inequality and shameful levels of child poverty here in the fifth wealthiest country in the world. Trade unions and their members will have to stand up and fight every step of the way.”
The government issued a summary of Budget items relevant to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
It stated the furlough scheme will be extended to September and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will continue with a fourth and a fifth grant. Some £126m will enable 40,000 more traineeships and cash incentive to firms who take on an apprentice will be doubled to £3,000 per hire.