GMB hits back at criticisms over public sector spending

The GMB union has hit back at CBI calls to cut back on public sector spending, blaming procurement from the private sector for the rising bill.

The CBI claims public spending must be cut to fill a £10bn “black hole” in treasury funds. It urged Brown to cut back on the rate of growth of public spending from 12% to 10% in the next two years, reducing the planned increase in total spending from £61.4bn to £51.4bn.

Pay rises must be cut from 6% to 4.5% in line with public sector averages, and there needs to be a new drive to crack down on absenteeism in the public sector, the CBI said.

However, Paul Kenny, GMB acting general secretary said, the CBI was “looking in the wrong end of the telescope”.

“Public spending, buying goods and services from the private sector, amounts to £120bn per annum,” he said.

“The taxpayer would get better value for money if more of these services were provided by the public sector – the railways being the most blindingly obvious, but not the only one,” he said.

“So if we need to save money, this is the place to start, not the £100bn spent on the public sector wages bill each year.

“This provides vital services like health, education, social services, law enforcement and defence. We need competitive wage rates in these services to attract and retain the necessary staff,” he said.

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