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Spring Budget 2024: Government fails to deliver on Usdaw’s calls for a new deal for workers and a retail recovery plan

Date: 06 March 2024 Retail trade union Usdaw has condemned the Chancellor for failing to listen to the union and its members by not delivering on their priorities.
Usdaw made a formal representation to HM Treasury for measures to be included in today’s Budget, covering the following key areas: 
  • A Plan for the Future of Retail is needed to help our high streets get back on their feet and compete effectively with online retail.
  • Cost of living crisis continues to have a severe impact on most workers who need help to make ends meet.
  • New deal for workers  is needed make work pay and end the insecure employment that leaves too many struggling with the cost of living.
  • Childcare reforms should be implemented, to help parents better balance their working life with their responsibilities at home.
  • Universal credit and social security do not provide the safety net that many need and remains a disincentive to earn more.
Full Usdaw submission: www.usdaw.org.uk/SpringBudget2024
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Today the Chancellor did the exact opposite of what our members and all workers need. He hasn’t listened, fails to take the real action working people need and has instead made a desperate attempt to bribe the electorate and grab headlines, which will not work. There are substantial issues facing this country, which were not addressed by the Chancellor and after 14 years of failure, the time is up for the Tories.
“The ongoing cost of living crisis remains a key challenge. Rising prices, along with still very high energy costs, leave too many workers struggling to make ends meet. The Chancellor didn’t deliver lasting solutions to cost of living pressures with a new deal for workers. A new deal that makes work pay with a real living wage. Alongside this, we need an end to one-sided flexibility with a ban on zero and short hours contracts to provide much needed security of employment and income.
“Universal Credit remains universally discredited. Usdaw has consistently called for a fundamental overhaul of the Universal Credit system and in how the Government supports the incomes of working people. We need social security that genuinely supports families and provides a proper safety net. Parents also need better and cheaper access to childcare, with the existing provision being largely unavailable and unaffordable for most low-paid workers. This Budget was a missed opportunity to support working parents.
“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. At the core of these issues is the uneven playing field between online and in-store retail, particularly regarding business rates. We needed a commitment to a fundamental reform of business taxation affecting the retail sector, it was not forthcoming.
“This Budget was a chance for the Conservative Government to finally show that after 14 years of mismanaging the country, they are listening. Instead, they failed to offer the change our members so desperately need.  They prioritised tax cuts for the rich over investment in crumbling services that most working people rely on. It is clear that it is time for a change and that can only come through a general election and a new government. For our members that cannot come too soon.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is one of the fastest growing unions in the TUC and 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 www.usdaw.org.uk
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