THE Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) announced it will take action on Tuesday outside Holyrood to put pressure on the Scottish Government to agree a budget that benefits workers.

It comes in advance of the Scottish Budget next week. STUC general secretary Roz Foyer (below) will lead a photo call outside Holyrood from 11am, with workers – including firefighters and social care staff – set to hold placards outlining the threats to services posed by austerity and highlighting alternative revenue sources.

The National: Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC, pictured at the STUC's new offices in Bridgeton, Glasgow
Photograph by Colin Mearns, Jan 22, 2022

The action follows on from the STUC’s recently published report entitled Raising tax to deliver for Scotland, which states that changes to income and property taxes from April next year could raise an additional £1.1 billion for Scotland’s public services.

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Negotiations around the Budget were reported to be ongoing as of Monday, with an emergency meeting held last Thursday.

The First Minister’s spokesperson said details of the Budget would be agreed in time for the Finance Secretary’s announcement on December 19.

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Asked if the STUC’s proposals had sparked the emergency meeting, the spokesperson said there was nothing specific, but that the First Minister had been engaging with them for some time.

The STUC has called for the introduction of wealth taxes to replace the council tax, with a proportional property tax and introducing a super tax on private jets.

The trade union body said it believed the tax measures were progressive and would reduce both income and wealth inequality.

Commenting, Roz Foyer said the Scottish Government “must listen to the voices of workers”.

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She continued: “Our public services are in crisis. Workers are genuinely alarmed at the threat of further cuts. It’s not just about their jobs, it’s about the vital and lifeline services they provide.

“We cannot accept cuts to the public service workers’ jobs. Our tax proposals are progressive and fair, would reduce both income and wealth inequality and enable investment in the services we all rely on.

“The Scottish Parliament must listen to the voices of workers and implement a budget that works for all of us.”