unionstogether Live Blog - The Budget

18th March: 17.45 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here's the tea-time summary - covering some of the response from the trade-unions. There's some quality stuff in there...

18th March: 16.50 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is fantastic c/o Jon Trickett.

Don't, whatever you do, choose him...

18th March: 16.30 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ouch! Len McCluskey is having a good go here - we've summarised it for you: 

18th March: 15.46 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Right - too much Financial Times and not enough Left Economic Advisory Panel leaves a person slightly demoralised.

So here's their view on today's budget with it's 'brutal plans for a £13bn cut in public services and a £12bn cut in welfare.

You can see more here, if you like http://leapeconomics.blogspot.co.uk/ and we know you do.

18th March: 15.42 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This from James Landale of the BBC sums it up. The Tories are plotting an assault on our public services not seen before...

 18th March: 14.59 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some more budget reaction from the GMB - a classic line from our very own Paul Kenny:

18th March: 14.40 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More graphs! But this is important so bear with us.

The OBR sounding the siren here, talking of a "sharp acceleration" in pace of cuts.


 You can see the offending graph here:

The Tories haven't detailed how they are going to make these unprecedented cuts on top of a Parliament that has already hit ordinary people.

What are they hiding?

18th March: 14.23 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This graph puts pay to the lie, which Osborne has repeated again today, that "we're all in this together". 

It shows that aside from the very rich, it is the poorest fifth who have been forced to bear the biggest burden of austerity. 

With a further £38bn of cuts still to come, how can we trust a Chancellor who attacks those at the bottom?

18th March: 13.55 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh, at last - a bit of sense.

According to the Financial Times, the Corporation Tax cut costs over £5bn per year. Where will the money come from for that? Our schools? Our health service?

18th March: 13.48 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Miliband has a go at Osborne on the extreme cuts proposed by Osborne - he didn't deny that he would introduce them today:

They are the very same cuts which the austere NAO were so concerned about they warned publically that it could "threaten the health of the public sector"

18th March: 13.39 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ed Miliband is up:

He leads on the fact that Osborne has put taxes up 24 times on working families and then poses as their friend. Here's a cool graphic from the Class think tank which proves it:

18th March: 13.27 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In this 'no-gimmick' budget - the Chancellor has just announced a cut in the price of a pint by a whole penny. We've done our sums and calculated that if you take into account the fall in real-wages - you'd need to have 684 pints a day just to break even.

Your round, Chancellor!

18th March: 13.14 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As Osborne crows about "all being in this together" there are plenty of people telling the real story. Here's a snapshot of the reaction so far. It's not exactly good for the Chancellor...

The JRF:


Eoin Clarke:

Unite the Union:



18th March: 12.44 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Osborne is now moving onto the "jobs recovery"

He argues that the "lowest-paid are those which suffer most when the economy fails".

We at unionstogether couldn't agree more - annoyingly for George Osborne we work more for less under the Tories. Average pay for workers is down £2,500 under the Tories.


Osborne is up for Budget 2015. 

He starts with "Britain is paying its way" - but keen-eyed followers will know that this Coalition will leave behind more debt than all other Labour governments combined!


Because the low-pay recovery has dramatically lowered tax take.


18th March: 12.24 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is hard to get excited about a recovery where 80% of jobs created are in industries where pay is an average of £8 or less. Cameron and Osborne talk about a 'national recovery for all' but they don't mean it.

C/o our Comrades at the Trade Union Group


18th March: 12.11 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This video from the TUC nails the problem for the Chancellor. His low-pay recovery is the reason why he can't fix the deficit.

The Chancellor is collecting 57% less tax than he said he would.


18th March: 11.57 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before the sound and fury, some solid facts from the sober IFS - poorest households hit hardest by Tory choices via Left Foot Forward: 

18th March: 11.49 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bloomin eck! Look! A shiny twelve-sided pound coin to distract us.

18th March: 11.41 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As the Budget approaches have a quick look at these figures from Rachel Reeves - nearly half of all new jobs created have been in the low paid sectors. Is this what Osborne means about a 'truly national recovery'?


18th March: 11.32 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Britain's largest public-service union wading in this morning on the government's ideological assault on the public sector. Do you really want to go back to the 1930s?

18th March: 11.24 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is not to love about this video from Sigoma? Game of Thrones, drama and a serious message about the total inequality in cuts to local authorities which have lost 40% of their core funding under this Government.

18th March: 11.17 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's often what you don't say rather than what you do. Here's a few things you're unlikely to hear from George Osborne today...

18th March: 10.53 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a timely reminder from the New Statesman. An eye-watering 60% of planned cuts are still to come:

18th March: 10.18 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, there's a surprise - a hefty majority of the British public don't trust George Osborne. With average wages for workers falling by £2,500 since Osborne came to power, we aren't shocked. You can find the Mirror graph here.

18th March: 09.44 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Feels like an opportune time to quietly highlight the scoop from the raging lefties at the Financial Times yesterday:

"Radical cuts threaten the health of the public sector".

Sir Amyas Morse, who heads up the National Audit Office, warned that 'if you're going to do radical surgery it would be nice to know where the heart us. You're slightly more likely not to stick the knife in by mistake". So that's them told.

18th March: 09.31 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you shout at the tele when Osborne droans on about his achievements? Well now you can channel that rage into constructive arguments courtesy of our bright Comrades at Left Foot Forward:

Here's what they've got to say on the deficit and why it is almost three times bigger than he expected. The message? Austerity doesn't work!


18th March: 09.25 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A little aside - Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of the TSSA, is in line with the vast majority of the British public this morning:

18th March: 09.02 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In amongst the sound & fury of budget day, just take a moment to read this from the Morning Star - "Privateers' dirty hands all over failed NHS trust". The battle to Save our NHS has only just got started...

18th March: 08.39 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting from Matt Pennycook - evidence suggests the cut in the personal allowance won't be particularly effective in helping the low-paid as many have already been taken out of tax altogether http://www.ifs.org.uk/budgets/gb2014/gb2014_ch7.pdf.

18th March: 08.29 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh eck - this is good from @38Degrees. George Osborne has talked a tough game on tax avoidance but he is losing billions of pounds per year in tax avoidance. That money could transform our society. Have a look how long it would take him to lose your tax:

18th March: 08.18 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our Comrades over at Socialist Economic Bulletin getting stuck in. Austerity doesn't cut the deficit.

18th March: 08.06 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This cracking article from the New Economics Foundation reveals some of the budget myths. Here's a snapshot - head over to NEF for the full whack:

18th March: 08.00 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We rather liked this...

18th March: 07.52 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fresh from putting housing firmly on the agenda which you can see here if you're interested - and let's be honest you should be - TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady talks jobs guarantees, fair pay and British Investment Banks in her Budget Day Message:

18th March: 07.42 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's Budget Day 2015 - welcome to our live blog. We'll be bringing you alternative news & views from the last act of this useless Government.

Start the day with this scorching article from Ian Lavery MP - former President of the NUM and Trade Union Group Chair http://www.unionstogether.org.uk/ian_lavery.


17th March: 18.40 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Join us tomorrow for the final budget of this grim Parliament - we'll be bringing you totally impartial news and views on the last act of this union-bashing, millionaire-tax-cutting, NHS-privatising, real-wage-cutting, poverty-increasing Government.

Here's some required reading to keep you busy until the morning - unionstogether Chair and GMB General Secretary, Paul Kenny, telling it like it is:

In Parliament

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