Commenting on the Scottish Budget, STUC General Secretary , Grahame Smith said:
“We are deeply disappointed that Mr McKay’s public sector pay policy does nothing to make amends for a decade of pay cuts for public workers. Better pay means better services and more demand to boost local economies. The Scottish Government has failed to recognise the urgency of this issue.
“Freezing the higher rate threshold is a positive move, but it is the least we would expect from a Government which is committed to raising revenue for public services. Given the pressures on the Scottish economy and the need to support living standards, the Finance Secretary should have been bolder, using the powers at his disposal to properly resource the public sector and provide the economic stimulus the economy needs.
“Business rates caps are untargeted giveaways, with little evidence that they support economic growth. Rather than seeking an easy headline, the Scottish Government should use this revenue to support local communities by properly resourcing local authorities and supporting the real economy where most people work.
“Commitments to support the high street are welcome, as is the commitment to fair work first. The test for both of these issues will be effective engagement with unions and workers. It would be unforgivable if the Scottish Government’s approach to the supporting the high street replicates the failures in the UK and fails to provide an opportunity for workers to be heard.”
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