GMB, the union for public sector workers, commented on the restatement of Labour’s economic policy made by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls over the weekend.
Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said:
International agencies and the government itself say that the UK economy is stagnating with the terrible consequences for jobs, families and young people.
That’s why Ed Balls is absolutely right to say that a wait-and-see policy is wrong and unfair to the British people. Mr Balls has now developed Labour’s economic policy beyond supporting short term spending cuts and now says the time is right for reflationary policies to avoid another recession.
Further losses of purchasing power through deflation in the real value of public sector pay is inconsistent and damaging to any attempt to reflate the economy. See below for fall in living standards by occupation. Indeed the most effective means of boosting demand and hence jobs in the economy is by maintaining the spending power of working people – which is also morally the right thing to do. Therefore it is logical and consistent to lift the current public sector pay restraint which is directly choking consumer demand and costing jobs in the private sector. Ed Balls needs to reverse the stance on public sector pay.
GMB call on all political parties who prefer prosperity to austerity to support reflationary policies including removing public sector pay restraint, starting with local government workers who have had no pay rise for nearly three years.”