A union leader has described Boris Johnson’s speech at the Conservative Party conference as “nothing but hot air” despite corporate groups giving more support.
The Prime Minister used his hilarious 45-minute keynote in Manchester to say that his government has the “courage” to transform society through its leveling agenda.
Commenting on the speech, Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of the Transport Employees’ Association, said: “As always, this political fool was just blowing hot air.
“We had slogans about details at a time when costs are rising, inflation is a real concern, universal credit is being cut for millions, there is widespread food and fuel shortages, and there is a very real climate crisis.
“If we try to move out of the shadows of Covid, the Prime Minister’s tone will sound hollow to many. He’s talking about completing the Northern Powerhouse Rail, but will be giving up the eastern section of High Speed 2.
“This is no better deconstruction, but short-sighted folly.
“It looks and feels like an iceberg is heading for our economy and Johnson is the captain of a rudderless ship incapable of navigating a course to safety.”
Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI, said: “The Prime Minister has formulated a compelling vision for our economy. High wages, high skills, high investments and high growth.
“But the prime minister only expressed his ambitions in terms of wages. This needs to be supported by measures on skills, investment and productivity.
“Wage ambitions without investment and productivity measures are ultimately just one way to get higher prices.
“It is a fragile moment for our economy. So let’s work in partnership to master the short-term challenges and realize our long-term potential. It’s time to get off the table, roll up your sleeves and get things done, united. “
TUC Secretary General Frances O’Grady said: “If Boris Johnson was serious about leveling Britain, he would not cut universal credit in the midst of a cost of living crisis.
“The prime minister is unable to educate people about wages by keeping the wages of millions of key public sector workers down.
“And if he does nothing to close the gaping hole in local budgets that has resulted in most social workers being paid less than the real subsistence level.
“As the largest employer in the country, the government should be an example of correct pay for employees and not skimp on wages.”
Unite Secretary General Sharon Graham said: “Without serious action, this speech will be nothing but the headline hunt of a Prime Minister desperate to distract attention from the serious and growing cost of living crisis that is under his watch.
“If the prime minister really wants to reverse the years of uncertainty and falling wages, then he knows what to do about it: create sector negotiations to establish a solid floor on workers’ incomes and stop the never-ending race to the bottom. “
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