Date: 9 October 2007
Scotland's public services need continued investment to boost
economy - UNISON responds to CSR announcement
UNISON - Scotland's public service union - today responded to the
Chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review by welcoming the crackdown
on tax loopholes and calling for the increased investment to include
money for staff , training and resources to pay fair salaries to
those delivering them.
The union said it was ready to enter discussions with the Scottish
Government as they prepare their Budget. Dave Prentis, UNISON's
General Secretary said "The Chancellor has got off to a good start
with his crackdown on loopholes and dodges that allow the super
rich to get away with not paying their fair share. This money should
be earmarked to keep-up the investment levels in our public services
initiated by Gordon Brown.
"The record investment in our public services has enabled us to
deliver real improvements in our schools and hospitals. We are glad
that the Chancellor has not lost his nerve and slammed the brakes
on public service investment.
"Investment in public services must include investment in staff
and training. Pay is a crucial factor in maintaining morale. Putting
an artificial limit on pay across the public sector restricts genuine
attempts to reward staff for successful reform and will store up
industrial problems for the future. "
In addition UNISON points out that the public sector is an important
driver of the Scottish economy, and the union has independent research*
to back this claim. This found that not only was there little or
no evidence to back the 'crowding-out' theory, on the contrary the
public sector had a key role to play in promoting many aspects of
Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary said "The public sector
provides roads, healthcare, education and training, a legal framework
and much other infrastructure without which the Scottish economy
would be the loser. It also spends money in the private sector both
through procurement and via its workforce, and directly funds valuable
research and development.
"UNISON and both governments all agree on the need to continue
to grow our economy. The evidence is that this is helped to grow
by public sector investment and the services that our members provide.
We will want early talks with the Scottish Government as it prepares
Note for Editors:- *the report - Adding Value, Public sector
spending and Scotland's economic development - is available on the
UNISONScotland website at www.unison-scotland.org.uk/addingvalue.html
For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith (Scottish
Secretary) 07771 548 997(m) Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser - Policy)
07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558