Portsmouth union leader condemns spending review cuts

Unison criticised the Chancellor's spending review
Unison criticised the Chancellor's spending review

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A PORTSMOUTH union leader has condemned today’s announcement that scores of public sector workers will lose out on pay rises.

Chancellor George Osborne today unveiled a spending review involving £11.5 billion in further cuts.

He claimed that Britain was ‘moving out of intensive care’ - and from ‘rescue to recovery’.

However, he said the spending review involved ‘difficult decisions’, adding: ‘There never was an easy way to bring spending under control.’

Mr Osborne said public sector pay rises will be limited to an average of up to 1 per cent for 2015-16.

He added: ‘But the biggest reform we make on pay is to automatic progression pay.

‘This is the practice whereby many employees not only get a pay rise every year, but also automatically move up a pay grade every single year - regardless of performance. So we will end automatic progression pay in the Civil Service by 2015-16.

‘And we are working to remove automatic pay rises simply for time served in our schools, NHS, prisons and police.’

Yvonne Cleary, regional organiser for Unison in Portsmouth, said: ‘Public sector workers have not had much of a pay rise in the last 10 or 12 years.

‘This year it’s one per cent.

‘It doesn’t surprise me that the government is attacking public sector workers.

‘In doing that they are attacking public services. The reality is they don’t want to have decent public services.’

She added: ‘They think it’s popular but I think they are wrong.

‘It’s not popular to be constantly attacking public services.

‘It’s going to drive down public services to the point where we don’t have a decent welfare state and health service.

‘If you don’t pay people decent salaries, you are not going to get decent services.’

She said she wanted to ‘unpick the myth’ of what public sector workers are.

She said: ‘There are the people in our society doing the “dirty” jobs, collecting waste, cleaning hospitals, caring for the elderly and our children.

‘Why would ordinary people support this?

‘I don’t think they do.’