THE Tories are “waging war on working people,” unions warned today as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget coincided with a massive day of strikes by hundreds of thousands of workers nationwide.
Unions slammed the ex-Tory leadership candidate’s “fiscal event” for failing to tackle pay disputes across the country, with teachers, university lecturers, civil servants, junior doctors, London Tube drivers and BBC journalists all downing tools today.
As Mr Hunt delivered his speech, thousands of workers rallied outside.
They gathered as the Office for Budget Responsibility, which the former health secretary praised for predicting Britain would now avoid a technical recession this year, warned that people still face the biggest fall in living standards on record.
BRITAIN’S biggest strike surge in decades was the elephant in the room, almost ignored in the Chancellor’s Budget speech.
The huge strike march winding through Whitehall wasn’t referenced by either front bench. Yet the demands for proper pay rises and investment in public services it championed speak more directly to people’s concerns than any of Jeremy Hunt’s headline announcements.
Hunt referred vaguely to inflation as the cause of industrial disputes — before dishonestly citing it as the reason the government is denying workers the pay rises they need and deserve.
His dishonesty didn’t end there. The government is doing everything it can to resolve the disputes, the Chancellor claimed.