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Chancellor fails to deliver a new deal for workers or a retail recovery plan - Usdaw brands the Budget a missed opportunity

Date: 15 March 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw had called on the Chancellor deliver a retail recovery plan to help our high streets get back on their feet after Covid and compete effectively with online retail; along with a new deal for workers to make work pay and end the insecure employment that leaves too many struggling with the cost of living.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Today’s budget was a missed opportunity to tackle insecure and low-paid employment, along with addressing the challenges the retail industry faces, having already lost thousands of jobs this year. Regrettably the Chancellor made no mention of either crucial issue for our members.

“Workers desperately need a new deal on employment rights and incomes. A new deal that makes work pay: with an immediate £12 per hour minimum wage for all workers, regardless of age, as a step towards £15. Alongside this, we need an end to one-sided flexibility, along with tackling insecure forms of employment such as zero and short hours contracts to provide workers with financial security. Labour will deliver a new deal for workers within the first 100 days of coming into government.

“For many years the retail sector, particularly the high street, has experienced significant and fundamental challenges. Covid and the cost-of-living crisis have both intensified these systemic problems. Today the Chancellor could have reversed the terrible decision to reject an online sales tax, which was also supported by many major retailers and could have been used to fund a reduction in business rates. Labour’s plan for the high street offers a far more substantial response to the situation than the Government’s sticking plasters.

“This Budget shows that the Government is not listening and will not offer the change our members desperately need. Usdaw will continue to mobilise for a general election, because only a Labour Government can put the UK back on track and grow the economy for the benefit of everyone.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers