By Marcus Leach

UNISON has warned that CIPD projections for 500,000 public sector job cuts over the next five years would be a disaster for communities and families.

However, the union said that the CIPD were right to warn against Conservative plans to cut jobs now, saying that they would harm the recovery.

“The CIPD is right to highlight that Tory plans to cut hard and fast will cost hundreds and thousands of jobs," UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said.

"The economy is still in need of urgent life support to avoid a damaging double-dip recession. Cuts now won’t help our recovery - they’ll hold it back.

“But there is no doubt that 500,000 public sector job losses would be a disaster for communities and families. Whether in a downturn, or in recovery, the public sector provides essential services that people rely on. Cuts on this scale would bring back the postcode lottery, with some communities missing out on vital care, education and support.

“That’s why it’s misleading and wrong to compare job losses in the private and public sector. Public sector job losses don’t just hit public sector workers, they reach out to hit communities and families too.

“UNISON will not stand idly by and let our members pay for the financial crisis, with their jobs or cuts to their pay.”