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A BLUEPRINT for economic recovery after the Covid-19 disaster was unveiled by the TUC today.
The trade union organisation is calling for a national recovery council to create a “greener and fairer economy” in the wake of the pandemic.
It pinpoints key areas for action, including fairer wages, investment in sustainable industry, social-security reforms and secure jobs, rebuilding public services, equality at work and international rules prioritising decent jobs and public services.
The plan tears apart the failed Tory policies of austerity and cuts that followed the 2008 financial crash, resulting in stunted economic growth, rising unemployment, falling living standards and widespread poverty and desperation.
And it emulates the decade of growth begun by Labour’s post-war recovery programme, when investment in housing, health services, education, social security and other public services brought economic growth and better living standards for the majority.
The TUC compares the UK’s annual average economic growth of 3.3 per cent in 1947 to 1957 with that of 1.9 per cent after the Tories’ decade of austerity that followed the banks’ financial crash of 2008.
The fastest recoveries from economic crises in British history were based on investment for growth, not cuts to services, deregulation and tax breaks for millionaires and bosses, the report argues.
It points out that, thanks to the failure of the Tories’ 2010 austerity-based recovery programme, Britain enters the approaching financial crisis in an already perilous financial position.
And it warns that choosing the wrong approach to recovery now risks embedding low growth, long-term unemployment and all the social ills that go alongside.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The UK’s weak economy and 10 years of cuts left our country unprepared for coronavirus. Only the dedication of millions of individual workers kept our country going.
“Let’s learn the lesson. Together, we can work our way safely out of this recession. Seventy-five years ago, Britain was bloodied, battered — and broke.
“Yet after the war, Britain’s economy grew faster than ever before. We did it not by pay freezes and cuts but making the priority decent jobs for everyone, new homes, infrastructure and a new national health service.
“So let’s channel the spirit of 1945. Coronavirus doesn’t have to equal mass unemployment and a poorer, meaner country.
“We can do what the post-war generation did: grow our way out of this crisis and build a better life for everyone.”
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