Public sector unions and employers body express dismay at Budget

Unions, employee representative groups and business bodies have given a mixed reaction to yesterday’s Budget.

The British Medical Association (BMA) expressed dismay that the chancellor did not address doctors’ pay.

Gordon Brown said public sector pay settlements would average 2.25% this year, with more than average for nurses, but he did not mention doctors.

Dr Sam Everington, deputy chairman of the BMA, said: “Doctors equally deserve a fair pay award that reflects their hard work and commitment to bringing down waiting times for patients and innovating new treatments of care. We wait with anticipation for the government’s decision.”

The GMB union said the chancellor “should not undo all Labour’s good work so far in public services by trying to impose a wage ceiling of 2.25% on the very workers we all rely on”.

Mary Turner, GMB national president, said: “The chancellor does not sit at the negotiating table and it’s not for him to dictate what public service workers should be paid. Labour should be about quality public services delivered by well-trained, well-respected public servants paid a fair wage.”

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said the chancellor did not do enough to remove the regulatory burden facing business.

“If we are going to compete globally, the most important thing is market flexibility – to achieve this we need low levels of regulation and high skills,” said Bill Midgley, BCC president.

“We wanted to see a reduction in the overall regulatory burden which now stands at over £50bn since 1998, with targets and timescales announced for individual government departments.

“Employers are fed up with paying for government regulation, let alone the time they have to divert away from actually running their businesses.”

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