Budget failed to grasp “enormity of shock Brexit will bring to core manufacturing industries”

The budget lacked the ambition and action to equip the nation for the challenges of Brexit, Unite said today (Wednesday March 8).

Responding to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This budget was extraordinary. The biggest challenge facing the UK economy for generations, Brexit, and the government’s preparedness for dealing with it only received a passing mention.

“It was absent of any sense that the Chancellor or the government grasped the enormity of the shock that Brexit will bring to core manufacturing industries.

“There were none of the basic initiatives needed to demonstrate that the government is serious about making its industrial strategy work,” McCluskey added.

‘Not one word of reassurance’
He continued: “There was not one word of reassurance for the car industry or the tens of thousands of workers reliant on it for their job. The carmakers who are daily voicing their fears about a future in the UK will not have heard anything to soothe their fraying nerves.

“Workers and employers have been left none the wiser as to how this government will prepare the economy for the seismic changes that Brexit will bring.

“The only thing we remain sure of is this government remains wedded to the senseless austerity that hurts working class communities hardest. The only promise we have is that of yet more cuts to our public services which are already at the point of crisis because of years of Tory austerity.”

McCluskey concluded: “We called upon the chancellor to show that he has listened to the concerns of working people, to prove that he is determined to create an economy based on decent, secure, well paid work. He failed.”