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Fri 20 January 2012

Scottish Government must do the right thing by public services in Budget - UNISON

UNISON Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to do the right thing by public services and the people who provide them following the publication of the Budget Bill today.

Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary said:

“Finance Secretary John Swinney says his budget will use every lever available to secure investment and jobs. We want him to do the right thing by Scottish public services and the people who provide them. So he needs to use the right levers – and we’ll be making representation to ensure that he does.

“We want to see infrastructure projects brought forward and support for capital investment but using the discredited PFI model - which is what the “non profit distributing (NPD)” model he specifically refers to actually means - will cost us more in the long run. Doing the right thing means proper publicly-funded investment.

“We have campaigned over many years to win a Living Wage for people providing public services. It is good to ensure workers whose ‘pay is controlled by the Scottish Government’ will receive the Scottish Living Wage of 7.20. But the Scottish Government has the ability to influence pay far wider than that – for example by ensuring that contractors in public, voluntary and community sectors meet minimum standards. Doing the right thing would mean committing to a Living Wage for all workers delivering public services.

“And continuing the Council Tax freeze is not the right thing – in fact it has been damaging to local democracy, and to jobs and services in communities across Scotland.”


For further information contact:

Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary - 07939 143 355
Stephen Low, Policy Officer - 0141 342 2811 / 0795 685 2822

Note to editors

1. UNISON Scotland has over 165,000 members and is the largest union in Scottish public services.

2. UNISON Scotland made detailed Budget submissions in October 2011 to three major Scottish Parliamentary committees. These are available on our website as follows:

Submission to Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee - Oct 2011
Click here - pdf

Submission to Infrastructure & Capital Committee - Oct 2011
Click here - pdf

Submission to Health & Sport Committee - Oct 2011
Click here - pdf