The TUC responds to the Govts Levelling Up White Paper

The Government's Levelling Up White Paper was finally published on Wednesday. Here's the TUC's response.

4 Mar 2022| News

The long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper was finally published by the Government on Wednesday the 2nd of March. Introducing it, the Government stated: “Levelling up is a moral, social and economic programme for the whole of government. The Levelling Up White Paper sets out how we will spread opportunity more equally across the UK.”

Levelling Up the United Kingdom can be found here.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:

“The United Kingdom is an unparalleled success story. We have one of the world’s biggest and most dynamic economies. Ours is the world’s most spoken language. We have produced more Nobel Prize winners than any country other than America.

But not everyone shares equally in the UK’s success. For decades, too many communities have been overlooked and undervalued. As some areas have flourished, others have been left in a cycle of decline. The UK has been like a jet firing on only one engine.

Levelling Up and this White Paper is about ending this historic injustice and calling time on the postcode lottery.”

The TUC issued an immediate response, ‘Levelling Up White Paper leaves low paid workers behind’ on their website. In it the author, Janet Williamson, Senior Policy Officer in the TUC’s Economic and Social Affairs Department, says:

“As the TUC has argued, you can’t level up without levelling up at work. In-work poverty, driven by the prevalence of low-paid and insecure work, is sky-high in every region and nation of the UK. This reflects the fact that low-paid sectors, such as retail and social care, are major employers in every area of the country…

… Working people need stronger rights to organise collectively in unions and bargain with their employer. Collective bargaining promotes higher pay, better training, safer and more flexible workplaces and greater equality – exactly what we need to level up at work. Unions should have access to workplaces to tell people about the benefits of unions, following the New Zealand model.

And to level up we must tackle entrenched low pay and poor conditions within sectors head on, bringing unions and employers together to set sectoral Fair Pay Agreements for low paid sectors, starting with social care.

Creating new and better jobs is important; but this Levelling Up White Paper has left those in low paid, insecure work behind.”

You can read the full response here.