Millie Holroyd – Time to Invest Now

Millie Holroyd moving Amendment 31.1 – Time to Invest Now – Don’t make Public Service Workers Pay the Price of Austerity

“We felt it was necessary to make the link between rise in military expenditure and the crisis in public services and infrastructure.

“As a young person in Britain, the future can seem bleak. The job market is more and more precarious and there is an ongoing housing crisis and the cost of living is on the rise.

“It is young people who bear the brunt of this. Employers are passing on extra costs to their staff at the consequence of cuts and wider to this, funding for the public services have been slashed and our members overworked, workplaces understaffed and underpaid. Simultaneously, in February 2024, it was reported on the government press release that the Ministry of Defence topped £25 billion for the first time.

“Britain is experiencing its 3rd consecutive year of increased military spending. (Which you can see reflected in the ‘how my tax was spent’ section on the HMRC app.) In 2024, Jeremy Hunt defended plans to slash public service jobs to increase defence spending by 2.5% of the National income. The Labour Party has also committed to increasing defence spending to 2.5% of the National income.

“It is clear, if this agenda of increases to the military budget continues, make no mistake, it will be our jobs on the line and it will be the working class that will suffer. Every pound directed to military ‘defence’ will be at the expense of our public services.

“Our government can only afford this drive to the wars and yearly increases to military expenditure precisely because of the austerity agenda against our public services. We should be clear as trade unionists that British foreign policy is not separate from the Tory attacks on our services and attacks on our trade unions.

“We must support international policy positions which would see UK and world defence spending decrease in the medium to longer-term. UNISON must be leading from the front loudly in opposition to all wars, increased military expenditure and the military industrial complex.”