Cuts outlined in the Scottish budget will result in a ‘real terms wage cut’, claims the Scottish TUC.
Scotland’s finance minister, John Swinney, announced Scotland would face a public sector pay freeze and a series of cuts totalling £1.2 billion.
But Grahame Smith, general secretary of the STUC, warned: “The economic gloom will deepen considerably as a result of this budget with cuts impacting considerably on demand in the Scottish economy and, crucially, in the local communities where public service workers spend most of their pay.
“With inflation running at well over 4 percent, the Government’s pay policy represents an effective real terms wage cut for every public service worker in Scotland. Even workers receiving the modest pay protection outlined stand to lose up to £400 a year in real terms. Many thousands more who earn less than the average wage stand to lose £1000 per year in real terms.”
Mr Swinney had said the measures were necessary because Scotland had been hit by a £1billion cut from the UK government and needed to impose ‘efficiency savings’ of 3%.
He said public sector workers earning more than £21,000 would have a pay freeze and there would be no big bonuses.
Teachers union NASUWT has warned of longterm negative effects on the cuts on teaching following the announcement.
Jane Peckham, NASUWT Scotland organiser, said: ”There are huge difficulties ahead for teachers and other public sector workers.
”A two-year pay freeze, looming threats to pension provision and now erosion of conditions of service are not only unnecessary and unfair but will have a significant and negative impact on standards of education.
”Education develops the knowledge and skills a country needs to build its way out of recession. These measures are false economy.”