Something for everyone? The reaction from stakeholder groups

Image by Gary Barker

The reaction to the Spending Review has been expectedly mixed. The Tax Credits u-turn received much praise from the unions in particular meaning nearly all groups had something to be happy about. The big loser was ultimately the backroom civil servants with significant departmental cuts being announced. We provide an overview of some key reactions from stakeholder groups below:

The CBI praised the Chancellor’s spending review saying it was good for long-term investment in the economy. However, they were not about to give the Chancellor 10/10 that easily – they stung him on the scope of the Apprenticeship Levy. Meanwhile the British Chambers of Commerce praised the ‘builder’ Chancellor who created a statement that the majority of business “will applaud.”

Investment in science attracted much praise from business, but also from academic institutes. Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said, “We strongly welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment today to protect the UK science budget in real terms and drive forward Industrial Strategy with continued support for key sectors of the economy.”

The property sector which received many proposals in the spending review was upbeat. Melanie Leech, CEO, British Property Federation, said, “This could be a seminal moment for the government, and the start of a building programme that actually delivers.”

Unison led their reaction with praise for the Tax Credits u-turn. General Secretary Dave Prentis said, “Nearly three million working families countrywide have breathed a collective sigh of relief.” The Public and Commercial Services Unionhowever, representing many civil service jobs which now face the axe, led with a very different tone. They said the Government is tacking a “wrecking-ball” to the welfare state and that public “since 2010, almost 90,000 civil service jobs have been cut, including more than in four in lower paid admin grades. Further cuts to departmental budgets announced today will lead to tens of thousands more losing their jobs.” The Trade Union Congress welcomed the climb down on Tax Credits but wanted more protection for British jobs “just as they do in Germany and France.”

PolicyExchange championed a number of ‘policy wins’ of theirs in the Spending Review. These include selling of inner city prisons, greater support for part-time students and the commitment to save £1bn by cutting agency and contractor spend. However, on an individual basis, Head of Environment & Energy Richard Howard highlighted that the replacement ECO scheme will have a budget of £640m pa – “well below the £1.2bn pa required to hit fuel poverty targets”. IPPR also claimed a policy win in the form an increased science budget

Metin Parlak

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search