NUT comment on George Osborne’s Speech

Commenting on today’s speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Conservative Party Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said:

“George Osborne’s speech did nothing to lift the gloom across Britain and the economy. The Government is refusing to accept that its policies are not working and that other measures need to be taken to revive the economy. Cutting jobs and demand are simply the wrong steps to take.

“Cuts to our education system will have repercussions for generations to come as the facilities and support systems that schools rely on are cut to ribbons. A freeze on Council Tax should come as no surprise, as it was in the Conservative election manifesto. . It is such a shame, however, that Mr Osborne did not find £805 million to maintain the Educational Maintenance Allowance, school sports partnerships, Building Schools for the Future and myriad other projects.

“The Chancellor’s attack on public sector pensions demonstrates that the Government is still refusing to accept the facts. Our pensions have already been reformed to cut costs and the agreements already exist to limit any further cost increases. It is the Government’s policies that are hitting growth and costing jobs, not the actions our members may have to take to defend themselves against poverty in old age.

“Our campaign has always been Fair Pensions for All, as the petition we launched on June 30th stated. Decent pensions for everyone – private and public sector workers and a decent state pension – should be a priority for any responsible Government.”

END pr131-2011
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