4 September 2010
Prentis warns Scotland’s political leaders against slashing
public services based on ‘ice cream van economics’
Dave Prentis speaking this morning in
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis will today (Saturday) warn
Scottish politicians to ignore the ‘ice cream van economics’ of
the recent Independent Budget Review report.
He will tell a major conference in Glasgow that the country’s
political leaders will be judged on how far they distance themselves
from the July report and fight to protect the services that people
In the run up to the event he said that the report by the so-called
three wise men painted a vision of a future “where services are
privatised or charged for, if they are there at all” and where
35-60,000 jobs are cut.
Dave added: “I don’t want to be too harsh on these three not
very wise men. They were asked to deliver a package of cuts. That’s
what they have done.
“A proper review of the budget would have started by looking
at the services we need, then working out how you raise the money
to pay for them. “You don’t look at a Government’s finances and
say ‘we’ve got this much, what can we get for it?’
“That’s what kids do at an ice cream van. We should be able to
expect better from experts looking at a country’s finances.”
UNISON Scotland’s ‘There is an alternative’ conference today
will see more than 200 union and community activists from around
the country share experiences about threats to local services
and discuss how to develop the union’s Public Works campaign.
Keynote speaker Stephen Boyd, STUC assistant secretary, will
deliver an economic analysis that demonstrates that there is an
alternative to the cuts and privatisation agenda.
Dave added: “I have a message for the Scottish Government. The
Independent Budget Review is just a tartan version of the Tory
plan for the rest of the UK. It’s a plan that the Scottish people
rejected, overwhelmingly, at the ballot box only a few months
“We’ll be able to judge the truth of how well Alex Salmond, or
the other party leaders, stand up for Scotland by how much distance
they put between themselves and this plan to devastate the country’s
Notes to Editors:
1. The ‘There is an Alternative’ conference takes place at the
Thistle Hotel, Cambridge Street, Glasgow from 11am-3.30pm. Dave
Prentis will be speaking at 11.05am. Stephen Boyd is due to speak
2. News media will be able to attend/film during speeches by
Dave Prentis and Stephen Boyd.
Please contact Fiona Montgomery or Malcolm Burns, as below.
3. Details of the conference are on UNISON Scotland’s website
For further information please contact: Fiona Montgomery,
Communications Officer 0141 342 2877(o) 07908 672 890 (m) Malcolm
Burns, Communications Officer 0141 342 2877 (o) 07958 063 182