Union leader bemoans “wasted year” of blinkered austerity policies

In his 2010 budget, Chancellor George Osborne outlined the need for considerable cuts across the public sector
The Chancellor's call for a March of the Makers is yet to be fulfilled. Unite's Tony Burke blames "self defeating austerity" policies.

Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of Unite, blogs on economic immobility and the forgotten “March of the Makers”.

Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary at Unite the Union
Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary at Unite the Union

The Bank of England’s latest warning that the economy has hit the buffers and will come grinding to a screeching halt later this year comes as no surprise.

Unite have been warning there is an urgent need to dump the cycle of “self defeating austerity” (as Len McCluskey aptly described it) and go for growth.

Instead, chancellor George Osborne’s cure for the UK’s economic ills is “more of the same” austerity, and even more austerity, coupled with weakening employment rights to gain traction and build growth.

The “March Of The Makers” – a boost in manufacturing employment to drive the economy – has hardly taken a step forward. Only the automotive sector has brought some sunshine into the manufacturing gloom.

Sounding like the BBC shipping forecast, Sir Mervyn King, in his statement yesterday confirming a “wasted year”, said:

“We are navigating rough waters and storm clouds are continuing to roll in from the euro area.”

And ever topical he also said:

“Unlike the Olympians who have thrilled us recently, he says, the UK economy has not yet reached full fitness. It is to the Olympic team that we must look for inspiration in a challenge that could take years to achieve.”

Not reached full fitness? We are still sitting it out in the stands!

Even the Olympic “bounce” the Government is clearly hoping for is seen as being short lived and being downgraded to a “dead cat bounce”.