RMT general secretary Bob Crow comments on the autumn statement 2011:

“George Osborne has ratcheted up the class war and has made it clear through his attack on pay and employment rights that he wants the workers to keep taking the hit while the rich get richer. After two years of a freeze, pay for millions of key workers will go up by 1% in the next two years. With inflation over 5%, and the increase in pension contributions, that means nurses and the others we rely on will be around 25% worse off after four years of this ConDem government while top bosses pay goes up by 12% a year. That’s a scandal.

“George Osborne also wants to take the axe to workers rights and drag us back to days of the Victorian mill owner and the lump where bullying bosses can hire and fire at will while workers are expected to grovel in the dirt for the privilege of a day’s work.”

“Rather than George Osborne’s thin-scraping of jam tomorrow, robbed from other parts of the cupboard, what Britain needs today is real investment for growth and we could start by ending the nonsense of sacrificing thousands of manufacturing and supply chain jobs in the East Midlands, which are threatened by shifting train building to Siemens in Germany.

“While George Osborne has talked today about some limited investment in transport infrastructure thousands of jobs on the trains, tracks and stations are threatened by the Government’s McNulty rail review. That is a glaring inconsistency that sticks out like a sore thumb.

“You cannot rebuild the economy by dumping skilled and experienced workers on the scrapheap but in the run up to Christmas that is exactly what’s happening in a mirror image of the industrial carnage under Margaret Thatcher.

“RMT wants protection of the jobs of those in work and a guaranteed future for the millions who would immediately benefit from a programme of public works not seen since the Second World War.

“That’s how you build your way out of a double-dip recession – not by slinging more money at the banks that created this crisis.”