William Eichler 13 September 2016

Whitehall should use Brexit vote to end ‘failed austerity’, union leader urges

The Government should use Brexit as an opportunity to ‘throw off the shackles of spending cuts’, UNISON general secretary says.

Speaking at the trades union congress in Brighton last Sunday, Dave Prentis criticised the Government for continuing with ‘failed’ austerity measures and said the vote for a British exit from the EU was a vote for increased public spending.

‘We might have a new Prime Minister, but she is sticking with the failed austerity that prolonged the recession and hurt so many working people,’ he said.

‘Harsh spending cuts are pushing nurses, teaching assistants, social workers, town hall staff and those caring for our loved ones beyond breaking point.’

‘But the British people didn’t vote for more cuts in June, they didn’t endorse austerity, in fact they voted for the opposite – for more spending,’ Mr Prentis continued.

‘Voters were promised more money for public services by the Brexiteer politicians. When people went to cast their votes, many will have been thinking of the big red Boris bus that promised £350m a week for the NHS.’

He went on to say there is a ‘better way’ and that Brexit could provide an ‘opportunity’ for a policy change.

‘Rather than use Brexit as an excuse to repeat the failed policies of the past, the government should use it as an opportunity to throw off the shackles of spending cuts and invest in jobs, services and infrastructure,’ he told the audience.

‘A new approach from ministers would renew our country, rebalance the economy and give the next generation the opportunities they deserve.’

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