By Maximilian Clarke

Cabinet office Minister Francis Maude this morning (Thrusday) cautioned the devastating impacts of the scheduled November 30th public sector strikes which he warned could cost the UK economy £500 million, fuelling further job losses.

"If you lose a big chunk of output, it's hard to see how that doesn't translate into lost jobs," said Maude.

But the Trades Union Congress, which is backing the strikes and drumming up further support for the disruptions from among their members, have responded to Maude’s claims, blasting the estimate as ‘fantasy economics’:

“While the strike on 30 November will obviously cause disruption, the figures suggested by ministers are fantasy economics,” commented TUC chief, Brenden Barber.

“This is the clearest sign yet that next week's Autumn Statement will be a damp squib and the government is using the strike as yet another desperate excuse. Dedicated public sector workers take no pleasure in taking action next week but the blame for this strike lies squarely with the government for failing to engage in serious talks until unions decided on a day of action.”

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