By Claire West

Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of the Unite union, will warn today that the coalition government risks playing Russian roulette with the recovery.

Tony Woodley will say: ”More than £1.5 billion has already been wiped from local government spending this year and one million jobs are soon to go".

”Further cuts will suck money out of the economy, will suffocate growth and tip us back into recession hurting working people everywhere. It is madness to play Russian roulette with the recovery like this".

”In a matter of weeks, the coalition has told the vulnerable their services will be cut, schools have been told they will not be improved, workers that their pay will be frozen, that older workers must work long into their old age, that the NHS is to be given away to the private profiteers and now council homes will no longer be secure".

Unite's local government representatives are meeting today to discuss Unite's campaign to resist the cuts. Tony Woodley promised concerted action to make the government think again. He said: ”I challenge George Osborne to spend one day with Unite members to see the work they do and the people and communities they care for".

Unite says public spending simulates the economy. Research by the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) shows that for each £1 spent by a local council £1.64 is generated locally.

Therefore cuts will not only lead to a large number of local council job losses, but also private sector jobs as well. APSE also found that local government workers re-spend 52.5p in the local economy from each £1 they receive in wages.

Unite says revenue should be generated not by cuts to services and jobs, but through a tax on big financial transactions by banks, a limit on the money lost in tax avoidance very wealthy individuals and companies, and savings derived from ending the public sector use of private consultants.


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