Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Green Party supports tomorrow's PCS strike


Green Party supports tomorrow's PCS strike
GREEN Party leader Natalie Bennett will tomorrow (Wednesday) morning
be speaking at a PCS Union rally outside the Euston Tower in Central
London in support of the union’s budget day protest, expressing support
for PCS members on strike that day across the country.

Natalie said: “The union is rightly calling for decent pay for all civil
servants this year, while pointing out to the government that this
 – and many other steps to reverse its austerity programme – could
be paid for by serious action against wealthy tax dodgers.”

A union report has demonstrated that since the start of recession in
2008 the real value of wages has fallen by 7%, more than £50 billion
 a year. The report also found that median pay in the civil service is
4.4% lower than direct private sector comparators. In some grades,
the gap was 10%. It is calling for a 5% rise in civil service pay this
 year to keep pace with inflation, and an end to reduction in
pension rights.

The union represents, among others, customs, immigration, benefits
and Jobcentre staff.

Natalie said: "Congratulations to the PCS for rightly identifying the
importance of tackling tax evasion in rebalancing our economy. David
Cameron has said he wants to act on the issue, but has failed to take
any meaningful concrete steps.

“To save time, I’d point him to Green MP Caroline Lucas’s 2011 Tax
and Financial Transparency Bill, which set out how the government could
 force companies to ‘publish what tax they pay’, requiring all companies
filing accounts in the UK to include a statement on the turnover, pre-tax
profit, tax charge and actual tax paid for each country in which they
operate, without exception. He could simply move that as a government
bill, and take a big stride towards collecting money the UK is owed.”

Natalie added that the PCS call for fair pay for all civil servants and for
all contracts to be underpinned by the living wage, would be a small step
towards rebalancing the UK economy, in which the wage share had fallen 
from around 60% to 55%, with a great increase in the inequality of the
distribution of those wages.

“We need to make the minimum wage a living wage – that is an immediate
step the government should take, but in the meantime, ensuring that
government outsourcing meets this basic standard is an important step.”

Natalie added: “It is clear that we need to not only reverse George
Osborne’s austerity agenda, and invest in the infrastructure we desperately
 need – including energy conservation, renewable energy, but also to move 
towards a living wage economy with jobs that workers can build a life on.”

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS TO MARTIN FRANCIS

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