General Election 2015: TUC's Regional Secretary Beth Farhat explains what business wants

General Election 2015: Beth Farhat of the North East TUC explains what the region's workers and businesses want from next month's election

Iain Buist Beth Farhat, regional secretary at the Northern TUC
Beth Farhat, regional secretary at the Northern TUC

George Osborne has given us failure on growth, failure on wages, and failure on the deficit.

His record is so bad he’s created a new culture of low expectations, with weak growth and weak wage rises celebrated by desperate government ministers.

The last Budget was more about winning votes in six weeks than securing growth for six years.

If the Chancellor is re-elected, the deep cuts he plans will shrink the state back to the 1930s for its share of the economy.

He may have eased the cuts in the run-up to the election, but Osborne’s plan for full-speed-ahead austerity after the election would wreck vital services, hit the vulnerable, and slow the economy before most people have had any share in the recovery.

We need a new plan for investment in long-term growth that has infrastructure, skills and decent jobs at the heart of it.

Future growth also depends on a better balanced economy, with workers getting a fairer share in their pay packets, corporations paying their fair share of taxes, and short-term shareholder interests kept in check.

A change of course is urgently needed, based on a robust plan for investment to boost long-term growth, and a secure recovery in which everyone has a fair share, says the TUC.

To ensure fiscal strategy is focused on investment in boosting growth, the TUC is calling for:

Immediate borrowing powers for the UK’s state investment banks – British Business Bank and Green Investment Bank

Public financing to help provide a million new homes

Social security to be protected from further cuts

NHS and local government funding gaps to be addressed.

To address long-run productivity challenges,

the TUC is calling for:

A comprehensive industrial policy that seeks to boost skills and innovation

Corporate governance reforms that restrict voting rights to long-term shareholders and ensure company director duties are focused on long-term interests

An immediate reversal of the damaging decision to cut the adult skills further education budget by 24% this year.

To secure ensure everyone has a fair share in economic recovery, not just those at the top, the TUC is calling for:

Worker representation on pay committees

Fairer taxation with action on tax dodging so the wealthiest pay their share

A job guarantee scheme to prevent a lost generation of young people

The public sector pay cap to be lifted.


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