Friday, 3 September 2010

Prentis warns Scotland’s political leaders against slashing public services based on ‘ice cream van economics’

Date: 3 Sept 10

UPDATE: Dave Prentis speaking at
'There is an alternative' conference Saturday 4 September
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis will tomorrow (Saturday) warn Scottish politicians to ignore the ‘ice cream van economics’ of the recent Independent Budget Review report.

He will tell a major conference in Glasgow that the country’s political leaders will be judged on how far they distance themselves from the July report and fight to protect the services that people rely on.

He said today that the report by the so-called three wise men painted a vision of a future “where services are privatised or charged for, if they are there at all” and where 35-60,000 jobs are cut.

Dave added: “I don’t want to be too harsh on these three not very wise men. They were asked to deliver a package of cuts. That’s what they have done.

“A proper review of the budget would have started by looking at the services we need, then working out how you raise the money to pay for them.

“You don’t look at a Government’s finances and say ‘we’ve got this much, what can we get for it?’

“That’s what kids do at an ice cream van. We should be able to expect better from experts looking at a country’s finances.”

UNISON Scotland’s ‘There is an alternative’ conference tomorrow will see more than 200 union and community activists from around the country share experiences about threats to local services and discuss how to develop the union’s Public Works campaign.

Keynote speaker Stephen Boyd, STUC assistant secretary, will deliver an economic analysis that demonstrates that there is an alternative to the cuts and privatisation agenda.

Dave added: “I have a message for the Scottish Government. The Independent Budget Review is just a tartan version of the Tory plan for the rest of the UK. It’s a plan that the Scottish people rejected, overwhelmingly, at the ballot box only a few months ago.

“We’ll be able to judge the truth of how well Alex Salmond, or the other party leaders, stand up for Scotland by how much distance they put between themselves and this plan to devastate the country’s public services.”


Details of the conference are on UNISON Scotland’s website at  

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