Responding to the autumn statement, rail and transport union TSSA has slammed the government for “clobbering working people”, arguing the measures are “a squeeze on people who are already struggling.” The union criticises the “deafening silence” on public sector pay, wages and industrial unrest.
TSSA has called on the government to make good on climate commitments by investing in rail electrification and public transport networks. The Chancellor confirmed that the government is not committed to building HS2 in full, along with reduced commitment to only ‘core’ Northern Powerhouse Rail, despite the economic and climate benefits that these and other public transport projects would bring.
TSSA Interim General Secretary Frank Ward said: “Today’s budget is a squeeze on people who are already struggling.
“This Conservative government is clobbering working people with extra taxes while failing to address the cries of millions for a pay rise. The cost-of-living crisis was made by the Conservative Party, yet they take no responsibility nor offer any hope.
“The deafening silence on public sector pay and wages more widely is damning. This government appears oblivious to the industrial unrest across our country.
“If we are to believe the Chancellor’s welcome comments about the UK honouring climate commitments, then much more must be done on investment in clean, renewable energy production, reducing energy consumption, and the infrastructure to support this ambition. With transport being one of the highest producers of emissions, investment in electrification of rail and public transport networks more widely is essential in meeting our climate commitments.
“Sadly, today’s statement places blame and burden on those hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and years of Tory mishandling of our public services and economy. Our country deserves better than this.”