Friday, 3 September 2010

The Scandal of Our Banks Cutting Yet More Staff

Banks and bankers have become for many the symbol of corporate Britain’s greed and the poster boys for all that is wrong with the world. We all remember the terror of the credit crunch, watching in horror as the Government poured billions into failing banks pulling them back from utter collapse and leaving our economy in ruins.

Despite this it doesn’t seem to be the bankers who are picking up the tab for this crisis rather it seems to be the ordinary British worker.

The Coalition Government are set on making dramatic cuts to reduce the deficit which rose dramatically through the bank-induced recession. So they are taking whooping great chunks out of the budgets of public sector departments threatening the livelihoods of workers and service users up and down the country.

‘But alas!’ the Government cries, ‘this pain is necessary. But don’t worry! The private sector will save us. They alone will create the growth this country needs. There is no need for stimulus packages and we shouldn’t worry about making public sector workers redundant. The private sector will provide for us, driving growth and giving jobs to the unemployed!’
And perhaps they are right..... Or maybe not.

Yesterday the RBS announced that they are cutting another 3,000 staff across Britain and this is on top of the 21,500 staff they have already made redundant since 2009, placing an even heavier burden on the staff that remain as they strive to do more with less. RBS may be 84% nationalised but the Government has explicitly told them to act like a privatised company. So they do.

Now RBS might say that they need to make these cuts or ‘efficiencies’ in order to stay competitive. But think on this. RBS has already made £1.14bn in profits this year (and we are only half way through), and yet they are cutting jobs and outsourcing work to other countries.
Is this the kind of growth we can expect from the private sector? Is this what we are relying on to pull us out of the downturn? Perhaps it’s time for the Government to consider what other options there are.      

Helen Martin - STUC 

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