Date: Thurs 24 Sept 2009
Public service cuts will increase costs for ordinary families
and delay recovery - UNISON
A headlong rush to cut and privatise public services will lead
to delays in coming out of recession, said the public service
union UNISON today.
'Public Works', the Scottish arm of the union's 'Million Voices
for change' campaign, is launched today with a leaflet demonstrating
the importance of public services to everyone's lives and pointing
to the huge costs that would fall on people if public services
were not available.
Matt Smith - UNISON's Scottish Secretary, said "'A
day in the life...' follows an average woman through her day
and points out our dependence on public services - from water
and sewerage, through environmental health and refuse collection,
to education and health care, it is not only the disadvantaged
who rely on public services, but all of us."
"If these services are cut back or privatised the increased
costs of paying for them individually can only increase the cost
burden on hard-pressed families. We estimate the average household
gets more than £10,000 a year in benefits and public services.
Public delivery provides value for money through economies of
scale and stopping shareholders taking profits out of the pot.
A year's domestic waste collection sourced privately would cost
around £2,500, and the average cost of a year's education outside
the public sector in Scotland is around £8,200."
UNISON is today (Thursday) briefing activists at meetings in
Scotland, and will be campaigning to sign up members and non-members
to back Scotland's public services at a time when they are under
sustained attack from big business.
UNISON points out that cuts in public sector jobs, pay and pensions
will only lead to less money being spent to stimulate the economy,
and if public services were cut they would order and contract
less with the private sector.
Matt Smith said "Far from being the drain on the economy argued
by those who created the economic crisis, the public sector contracts
for supplies and services from the private sector - especially
important when private industry faces reduced order books.
"In addition money spent in the economy by public service staff
will not be there if we accept the advice of the right wing think
tanks to cut jobs, pay and pensions. Now is the time to build
a fairer society based on social justice, good jobs and quality
Notes for editors: The union's 'Million Voices' campaign
was launched in the UK at UNISON's Annual Conference and will
be taken to all the party conferences during this autumn - including
the SNP conference in Inverness where Scottish Convenor, Mike
Kirby will address a fringe meeting run jointly with APSE (the
Association of Public Sector Excellence).
here for a pdf of the 'A day in the life...'
For further information please contact: Matt Smith, Scottish
Secretary 07771 548 997(m) Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser 07958
122 409(m) Chris Bartter, Communications Officer 07715 583 729(m)