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TUC sets out plan to avoid mass unemployment

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Written by: Emma Lunn
20/05/2020
The Trades Union Congress has published a report which sets out how the UK can get out of recession.

The TUC has written a plan it says shows how the UK can recover from the coronavirus economic crisis, stop the despair of mass unemployment, and set working families on a path to prosperity.

The TUC has also published analysis showing that the fastest recoveries from economic crises in UK history were based on investment for growth, not cuts to services, deregulation and tax breaks for millionaires and bosses.

TUC analysis shows that the decade of investment for growth that followed WW2 (1947-57) achieved an average growth rate of 3.3%. But the decade of cuts (2009-19) that followed the bankers’ crisis achieved average growth of just 1.9%.

The TUC says these examples are part of a wider pattern for the UK’s responses to economic crises over the past century.

It claims the UK recovers better and faster when the approach is investment for growth, prioritising workers’ wages, strong public services, a decent safety net, and building the capacity of both private and public sectors.

The TUC says approaches based on cuts to spending only serve to hold back the whole economy. It says this can be seen not only during 2009-2019, but also during 1921-31, when severe cuts meant growth averaged just 1.9%.

The TUC claims the pandemic alone did not cause the current economic crisis and says it was made worse by a decade of austerity and failure to strengthen the UK’s economy.

The TUC says the Government must take action on six key areas:

  • Decent work and a new way of doing business
  • Sustainable industry
  • A real safety net
  • Rebuilding public services
  • Equality at work
  • International solidarity

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, says: “The UK’s weak economy and ten years of cuts left our country unprepared for coronavirus. Only the dedication of millions of individual workers kept our country going.

“Let’s learn the lesson. Together, we can work our way safely out of this recession. Let’s make sure everyone has a decent job, with fair pay and security for their family. Let’s thank our key workers with the pay rise they have earned. And let’s not consign millions of our fellow citizens to the despair of unemployment.”

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