Resisting austerity measures
Congress welcomes the Future that Works demonstration on 20 October 2012 and recognises this as being an effective platform and foundation to resist the damaging austerity measures that are damaging the very fabric of our society in Great Britain.
Further, Congress recognises that after the demonstration there needs to be a strong voice from all TUC affiliated unions to protect public and private sector workers, the unemployed, our children, the elderly and all those in our society who are vulnerable.
Congress accepts that the trade union movement must continue leading from the front against this uncaring government with a coalition of resistance taking coordinated action where possible with far reaching campaigns including the consideration and practicalities of a general strike.
Composite Motion 1
A Future That Works campaign
Congress rejects this government’s economic programme of austerity, which has caused a double-dip recession and a stagnant economy heading to the deterioration of living standards for ordinary people.
The austerity programme has been challenged by a number of eminent economists and concerns about prospects for UK growth have been expressed by the Bank of England, as well as the IMF and OECD.
Congress notes that since the coalition government came to power unemployment is higher, growth lower, and living standards are falling.
Congress believes that increasing unemployment, and particularly youth unemployment, is a deliberate policy aim of this government, as evidence by the record number of public sector job losses, at 730,000 double the initial 2010 coalition prediction.
Budget cuts, job losses, regional pay and privatisation will add to unemployment and weaken the prospects for economic growth; they will prevent the public from accessing the services and infrastructure this country needs for a future that works for everyone.
Congress rejects the idea that the UK public sector had in recent years become “too big” or inflated with unproductive “non-jobs”. Congress deplores the Coalition’s ideological attempts to reduce the size of the state. These are replacing collectivist responses to people’s needs, based on ensuring that basic rights are met as summed up by Beveridge in 1944, with a backward philosophy that sees no role for society. Congress utterly rejects such an approach that is based on further enshrining inequality within the UK and ignoring the needs of the majority. Congress believes that cuts in public spending make no economic sense. Congress therefore opposes all cuts to public services, jobs, pensions and pay.
Congress believes that a balanced, prosperous and sustainable economy must include all citizens, and that to ensure everyone has a stake, public investment and employment to deliver essential infrastructure and high quality services are essential. Congress recognises that the government’s austerity policies are making the UK economic situation worse.
Congress condemns the government for the hardship suffered by millions of people losing their jobs, local services or receiving cuts in their pay, pensions or benefits, and for deepening inequality in our society. Congress believes that the scale of the cuts and increased privatisation will fundamentally undermine our public services.
Congress is also alarmed at the slump in the UK’s manufacturing output with new orders having fallen at their fastest level since 2009 – clear evidence of the failure of the UK government’s economic policies, and a clear indication that the private sector will not provide jobs for those made redundant due to cuts in the public sector. The decline reflects a sharp weakening in domestic orders, with export orders also falling.
Congress condemns the UK ‘ConDem’ government’s policies of austerity and cuts, and further condemns the fact that UK businesses are effectively engaged in an ‘investment strike’, stockpiling cash equivalent to 50 per cent of GDP.
We support campaigning activity for an alternative to austerity. Congress also condemns the government policies that have resulted in the ‘take home’ pay of workers falling in real terms, rising unemployment, and ‘hidden’ unemployment as the number of workers seeking full-time employment but in part-time jobs has grown dramatically.
Congress congratulates trade unionists on strike action over public pensions on 30 November and 10 May. Congress believes that coordinated action is necessary to win concessions from the government.
Congress reaffirms its support for the principles outlined in the People’s Charter and Women’s Charter and calls for all affiliates to build support in workplaces, communities and within trades councils.
Congress calls for an alternative economic strategy that provides for growth, jobs and fairness. Congress instructs the General Council to continue to argue the case for an alternative to the economics of cuts and austerity, and do all it can to ensure that maximum turnout on the demonstration called by the TUC on 20 October 2012. Congress calls on the Labour Party leadership to support our campaigns and specifically to reverse its misguided support for the government’s public sector pay policy.
Congress supports the TUC’s A Future that Works campaign and calls on the General Council to campaign vigorously for an alternative to austerity that delivers jobs, homes and a decent standard of living for working people. Congress recognises the role of government in delivering an economy that works for ordinary people and serves society.
This shall include:
campaigning vigorously for its economic alternative
prioritising building for the 20 October demonstration – to make it the largest anti-cuts protest in UK history
full defending public services and rejecting the privatisation agenda
an end to the cuts that are sucking demand out of the economy
sectoral and regional re-balancing of the economy
an active industrial policy that supports manufacturing, makes strategic use of government procurement and helps develop a greener and more sustainable economy
strengthening manufacturing policy
investment in infrastructure including affordable and social housing, transport and energy
preservation of the welfare state
reform of the banking sector to work for the real economy, greater democratic control of financial institutions and the establishment of a National Investment Bank
tax justice, ensuring the rich pay their fair share through clampdowns on tax avoidance and evasion and the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax
endorsing progressive taxation and all measures against tax avoidance and evasion
promoting fair pay and decent employment
giving full support to all groups of workers in the private or public sector who take industrial action against cuts or attacks on pay, jobs, pensions or conditions of service and coordinating unions taking strike action
stepping up the campaign for an economic alternative based on growth, investment, redistribution of wealth and fair taxation
supporting campaigning groups taking action against cuts, including UK Uncut, Disabled People Against Cuts and the Occupy movement as well as supporting the role of local trades councils in building anti-cuts campaigns among local communities.