Union leaders to PM: Keep your promise not to cut public spending

29 September 2022

An open letter jointly signed by the TUC and 18 trade union leaders, including Prospect general secretary, Mike Clancy, is calling upon Prime Minister Liz Truss to provide a ‘cast-iron assurance’ that there will not be more spending cuts to public services.

In the letter, addressed to both Liz Truss MP and Kwasi Kwarteng MP, the union leaders call upon the Prime Minister and Chancellor to urgently meet with them amid fears of another “crippling round of austerity this November.”

Pointedly, the letter states:

“Prime Minister – you promised in your leadership election campaign that there would be no reduction in public spending.”

It continues that breaking this promise would be “an act of national vandalism and a huge betrayal of the British people.”

‘Mini-budget’ aftermath

Since Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng MP unveiled a series of tax cuts and economic measures in his ‘mini-budget’ last Friday, the financial markets have been in turmoil and the Bank of England has felt it necessary to intervene to avoid a deepening crisis.

This has led to reports that government departments have already been asked to prepare plans, yet again, on where they would be able to make cuts.

Speaking to the Guardian on Thursday, 29 September, Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said:

“While ministers spent the entire summer fiddling as they picked a new PM, dedicated civil servants and other public sector workers kept the country running.

“Rather than reward workers for their dedication, the Government is threatening cuts to jobs, pay and services to pay for their disastrous budget.

“The PM must change course and put a stop to this irresponsible plan which is tanking the economy.”

Union leaders’ letter in full

Dear Prime Minister and Chancellor,

Strong public services are vital to this nation’s health and the economy. 

But since 2010 our hospitals, schools, councils, care homes, prisons and other essential services have been forced to absorb savage spending cuts. And every month the bills they face are rising, leaving much less for actual services. 

This has come at a huge cost to communities across Britain. 

NHS waiting lists are at record highs, school buildings are literally crumbling before our eyes and local government is on its knees. 

Meanwhile, nurses, teachers, firefighters and millions of other key workers you clapped during the pandemic have seen their living standards decimated with over a decade of pay cuts and wage freezes. 

Every month dedicated staff are quitting in their droves – tired of being taken for granted and of services being run down. 

This cannot go on. 

Prime Minister – you promised in your leadership election campaign that there would be no reduction in public spending.  

But according to reports, another wave of crippling austerity could be on its way in November in order to fund tax cuts for the super-rich. 

This would be an act of national vandalism and a huge betrayal of the British people. 

We therefore seek an urgent meeting with you and the Chancellor, and a cast-iron assurance that you will not make further real-terms cuts to public services – now or in the future. 

Frontline services are already at breaking point. They must not be sacrificed to make the top 1% even richer. 

Unions will not sit by and allow the government to impoverish public services and the amazing staff who deliver them. 

We won’t allow the social fabric of this country to be destroyed. 

Yours sincerely,

Frances O’Grady – General Secretary, TUC
Christina McAnea – General Secretary, UNISON
Sharon Graham – General Secretary, Unite
Gary Smith – General Secretary, GMB
Kevin Courtney, Mary Bousted – Joint General Secretaries, NEU
Patrick Roach – General Secretary, NASUWT
Paul Whiteman – General Secretary, NAHT
Gill Walton – Chief Executive, RCM
Matt Wrack – General Secretary, FBU
Mark Serwotka – General Secretary, PCS
Mike Clancy – General Secretary, Prospect
Dave Penman – General Secretary, FDA
Steve Gillan – General Secretary, POA
Iain Lawrence – General Secretary, NAPO
Roy Rickhuss – General Secretary, Community
Karen Middleton – Chief Executive, CSP
Mark Sargeant – Acting General Secretary, RCP
Annette Mansell-Green – Head of Employment Rights, BDA
Paul Donaldson – General Secretary, HCSA

Prospect member on the picket line

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