Public Sector March Against Government Budget Cuts

Chancellor George Osbourne with David Cameron and Nick Clegg in House of Commons

By Melissa Wong

Over 70,000 public sector jobs are anticipated to be lost after Government released their Spending Review on Wednesday.

The Scottish Government released figures confirming 606,400 employees currently in the public sector. Pricewaterhouse Coopers released astonishing figures that the budget cuts will determine the loss of  71,000 to 86,000 of these jobs by 2014/15.

The coalition governments’ spending review has been met with contempt from a cross section of the public. A march, organised by trade union leaders to campaign against the coalition government’s budget cuts, is set to attract thousands of participants including representatives from the Royal National Institute of Deaf People, OXFAM Scotland and the National Union of Students Scotland.

Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) are promoting the march. Kevin Buchanan, a spokesman from STUC, said: “Our view is that the immediate cuts will have a devastating effect on businesses and the public. Businesses will lose confidence in the market and, more than likely, it will create a doubled-up recession which will last for decades.

“We are confident that this will be a big turnout.”

The ‘There is a Better Way’  campaign will start marching from East Market Street at 11.30am tomorrow, before proceeding along Princes Street and finishing at the Ross bandstand, Princes Street Gardens for speeches from five speakers including Joy Dunn, President of the Scottish Trade Union Congress.

Sheila Gilmore, an MP at Westminster for Edinburgh East, said: “I will be joining thousands of public sector workers, community activists and members of the public that believe these cuts will damage our economy and public finances.”

“Cuts to benefits, jobs and investment will stifle future growth and move hundreds of thousands onto unemployment benefits, hurting Scotland for a generation.”

With the likelihood of growing unemployment rates and big budget cuts, public sectors are forced to be realistic so that they can continue their public duty.

Jimmy Campbell, the Chief Fire Officer of Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, said: “What is key is that we protect the fantastic services we do provide to the public. Our work has seen a significant reduction in fire deaths in previous years and we cannot allow for that excellent work to be reversed as a result of the financial crisis.”

For more details about the march,  please visit the website, http://www.thereisabetterway.org/