Date: 20 April 2009
Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary of UNISON – the public service union – will today (Monday 20 April) tell delegates at the Scottish TUC that the economic crisis must be paid for by fairer taxation, and more investment in public services..
In a hard-hitting speech on the first day of 2009’s Scottish TUC in Perth, Matt will point out that the crisis has been caused by relying on a ‘get rich quick’ philosophy, and that the proponents of that philosophy are still arguing for the failed policies of deregulation and attacks on the public sector.
Matt Smith, will say:
“The richest one per cent in our society have doubled their share of total income since the 1980s. Today, they pocket more money than the entire workforces of the NHS, state education and local government put together. And they pay back nothing like their fair share of tax. Almost £20 billion is lost from the money to pay for our services every year because of the use and abuse of ‘tax havens’.”
He will go on to call for a budget that closes these tax avoidance loopholes, reject the ‘free market’ and say that the government must invest those funds in regenerating the economy, providing loans and mortgages and protecting those on low pay and on benefits. This should be done by supporting communities to keep as many as possible in useful employment.
Matt Smith will say:
“There is no more efficient way to promote a better society than by directing funds to meet unmet needs and to employ those who are cast aside by the actions of others. Government must listen when working people call for a just society that rejects free market economics.”
Note for editors:
Matt will be speaking at the Scottish Trades Union Congress, meeting in Perth from Monday 20 – Wednesday 22 April. The debate will take place on Monday morning shortly after 11.00am. The STUC represents over 650,000 working people in Scotland.