Looking ahead: Demands for the Pre-Budget Report

Pressure groups, political parties and unions make their demands on Alistair Darling’s Pre-Budget Report (PBR).

Brenden Barber, TUC general secretary:

“We think Alistair Darling has three big tasks to pull off in his Pre-Budget Report tomorrow:

“First, he must do nothing to endanger economic recovery by taking premature action on the deficit. Unemployment is still rising and the economy remains fragile.

“Second, he must do more to help the jobless, particularly action to prevent this generation of school and college leavers being scarred for life.

“And third, he must show that those who brought about the crash and did so well out of the boom years will pay the price of putting it right. A windfall tax on bank bonuses should just be the start of building a fair tax system and reforming finance.

“We need a finance system that once again serves the rest of the economy, not just itself.”

Ed Matthew, senior economics campaigner for Friends of the Earth:

“As the world attempts to thrash out a climate agreement in Copenhagen, the chancellor could be showing real international leadership by spelling out comprehensive plans to transform the UK to a low carbon economy.

“Cutting emissions must be at the heart of the Pre-Budget Report – slashing energy waste, developing the UK’s vast renewable energy potential, ending fuel poverty and creating tens of thousands of new green jobs.”

John Sauven, Greenpeace executive director:

“When you hear politicians talking about ‘tough choices’, remember that every billion they cut from public services and every billion that isn’t spent on green jobs is just one per cent of the money they’re wasting on Trident’s replacement.

“If tough choices have to be made then it’s the relics of the cold war that should go in the bin first.”

Elfyn Llwyd, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader:

“What Wales really needs to hear in tomorrow’s Pre-Budget Report is how its funding is going to be protected.

“We need to see some evidence that the Treasury has engaged with the findings of the Holtham Commission.

“Last week, the Commission produced an alternative needs-based model of the Barnett Formula which would mean that the Welsh Assembly block grant would get £400 million more next year.

“Without addressing this reform of the Barnett formula, I am concerned that Wales will be slammed twice by these budget cuts.

“Previous estimates show that the Welsh budget is being hit by up to £2.8 billion over the next four years under current expectations.

“It is irresponsible to impose cuts, especially in these tough economic times, without paying due attention to Wales funding.”