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Date: Wed 12 October 2011

UNISON on unemployment figures: Reform Council Tax to put people back to work

As unemployment reaches its highest level in 17 years, UNISON, Scotland’s largest union in public services called on the Scottish Government to put people back to work doing the jobs that need to be done. In Scotland, unemployment has reached 212,000, up 7,000 over the last quarter and standing at 7.9%.

The union has been campaigning for an alternative economic plan at UK level that includes taxing bank bonuses and transactions, using cash raised to protect jobs, and stimulate growth and recovery. The union wishes the Scottish Government to use more fully the powers it has to promote employment.

Mike Kirby, UNISON Scottish Secretary, said:

The UK Government are clearly on the wrong set of economic tracks, but while many of the tax levers remain out with the Scottish Government’s control, they still have the power to act.”

“The Scottish Government needs to bring forward plans for a fairer tax for local government. UNISON believes a property-based tax is the best way to fund local services – it is a reasonable indicator of wealth, simple to collect and hard to avoid. The wealthiest people tend not to be found living in small high rise flats in poor areas to avoid property tax.”

“The only tax plan the Scottish Government seems to be working on is one that reduces taxes. Their claim is that this will create new jobs. There is little evidence that cutting taxes on business creates new jobs. If there is a link, it is marginal and there are more cost effective ways of using the same money to create more jobs. Most of the savings are likely to go into big company profits and shareholders pockets.”


For further information please contact:
Mike Kirby 0780 395 2261 or Stephen Low on 0141 342 2811/ 0795 685 2822