Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing…

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis reports on new research revealing families are cutting back on food, healthcare and kids clothes due to government cuts.

Piggy bank

Dave Prentis is the General Secretary of UNISON, Britain’s biggest public sector trade union with more than 1.3 million members

The struggle that families of public sector workers face has been laid bare by new research carried out by unions UNISON and PCS. A third of the 10,000 union members surveyed already have non-secured debts of more than £10,000 – a frightening level that does not include mortgage payments.

Tough choices are on the menu at the supermarket – 71% are cutting back on food, 33% are sacrificing vital healthcare, including trips to the dentist, and 22% are spending less on their children’s footwear and clothes.

Once parents start to cut back on their children, you know they have reached, or are very close to rock-bottom.

It’s misery for families, but it is also bad news for local shops and restaurants, hairdressers, pubs and takeaways – who all depend on local people spending to survive. It’s no wonder the growth forecasts have been revised down – far from coming to our economy’s rescue, the private sector is suffering too.

The survey also brought into question the long-term viability of public sector pension schemes. We already know that public sector workers are struggling to make ends meet, but now the government has put up the cost of their pensions. Together with the double whammy of high inflation and frozen pay – a 50 per cent hike in pension contributions will hurt.

Almost a quarter of respondents said they would definitely, or probably, leave the scheme if contributions went up. This would push more public sector workers onto state benefits when they retire and put the schemes’ future in jeopardy. Again, this would mean bad news for the private sector – billions are invested in top FTSE companies by the local government pension scheme.

The toll that reckless Tory cuts – dished out by a cabinet of millionaires – are inflicting on our economy and our society, just keeps on mounting.

21 Responses to “Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing…”

  1. ANDREW JENNINGS

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  2. Redstar PCS Stoke

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  3. portugaluncut

    Os cortes sentem-se na pele de quem trabalha (e ainda mais de quem não tem trabalho). #uncut //fb.me/Ye9dzJ8G

  4. Stacey Young

    Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/eYXwwA

  5. UNISON - the union

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  6. Staffordshire UNISON

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  7. Karen Webb

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  8. Robin Corpuz

    Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing…: Tough choices are on the menu at the sup… //bit.ly/fRwLaW

  9. Timothy Haffey

    trhaffey Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing…: Tough choices… //bit.ly/fWGmmq from kidsclothes1

  10. Dave Citizen

    Well said Dave – but are you up for an alternative that would really make a difference to Britain’s majority workforce and their families? I’m talking about a genuine shift away from our status of being one of the most unequal of the first world nations. Do you agree that our majority interest lies in a decisive break with our extremely unequal past and moving towards a model of much greater social equality, such as exists in countries like Germany or in Scandinavia? I certainly hope so, because the realities of global economy in the 21st century mean that majority populations of highly un-egalitarian societies will fare much worse than their more equal counterparts.

  11. Imogen Radford

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  12. PCS MOD Group

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  13. Ryan White

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  14. William

    ‘Reckless Tory Cuts’?2014-5 down 3 percent in real terms from 2008-9.Structural deficit,finally admitted by Balls.Where is Gordon Brown who took the public sector to half GDP?Currency devalued by 25 percent,think you can sell £150 million of gilts every year.One million more public sector workers in 13 years, with their pensions.Are we going to fight the next election pretending that the balance sheet at May,2010 was the incoming government’s fault?Are we going to ignore the fact that 70 percent did not vote for the team that created this mess?Can we have some honesty, please.

  15. Mr. Sensible

    Dave, I think this article shows that these kind of cuts don’t just effect public servants, but the rest of the economy as well.

    And given that growth forecasts have been downgraded, and now the ratings agencies are starting to get the jitters (far from being out of the danger zone), this shows me that it’s hurting but it isnt’ working.

  16. Ian Rathbone

    The struggle that families of public sector workers face has been laid bare by new research carried out by unions… //fb.me/ttaplVpx

  17. Lynn Lock

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Pr …

  18. Alan Cowan

    Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/hoWbsG by @UNISONtweets' Dave Prentis

  19. BenM

    William – how much do CCHQ pay you for that tripe?

  20. William

    @BenM ….’the truth shall set you free’

  21. Jackie Fleming

    Coalition cuts spending; families cut food, healthcare, kids clothing… //bit.ly/g7oS8k

Leave a Reply