The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has welcomed the reforms introduced by the government in the budget – but said the current oil price meant it wasn’t optimistic about ensuring job safety.
General Secretary Grahame Smith said it supported the steps taken by the Chancellor George Osborne including a reduction of the supplementary charge from 30% to 20%.
However while the current price remained at just above $50, there was still uncertainty regarding jobs.
He said:“The STUC welcomes the measures to support investment and exploration in the North Sea but, as long as the oil price remains around 53 dollars a barrel, isn’t optimistic that this will be sufficient to safeguard jobs in the short to medium term.”
“This Budget was clearly designed to meet the political challenge of the forthcoming general election rather than the significant economic and social challenges facing the UK.
“The windfall provided by falling inflation should have been reinvested in vital infrastructure to further embed the recovery and support good jobs, not pay down debt that is currently being serviced at historically low interest rates.
“There’s little to provide any comfort to the millions of low-wage workers and benefit recipients hit hardest by the Coalition’s damaging and unnecessary economic programme. Another expensive increase in the personal allowance will do nothing for the five million lowest paid workers and will benefit most those in the top half of the income distribution.
“Measures to incentivise saving simply won’t resonate with those for whom saving is impossible. The pain of the massive spending cuts scheduled for the next three years will not be alleviated by the Chancellor’s commitment to increase public spending in the last year of the next Parliament.”
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