Bank of England’s Chief Economist visits UNISON West Midlands

On Monday 27th November activists and officials from UNISON West Midlands met Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s Chief Economist. Mr Haldane is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee that sets interest rates.

This visit was part of a UK wide tour by Mr Haldane designed to improve communications between the Bank of England and the public and to give him the chance to hear concerns around the UK economy and the banking sector as a whole.

In his two hour meeting with UNISON Mr Haldane heard about the impact of austerity on the economy, how public workers are suffering under the pay cap, the real hardship suffered by many public sector workers and UNISON’s proposals to make local government pension funds invest in socially useful projects such as social housing and infrastructure schemes.

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

“The work of the Bank of England and economists in London can seem a long way from the work of nurses, porters and classroom assistants across the West Midlands. UNISON were delighted that the UK’s Chief Economist came to hear the real life and concerns of public sector workers dealing with the impact of austerity. He heard loud and clear UNISON’s view that it was unfair and damaging to the economy that public sector workers and public service users were still paying for the 2008 financial crash caused by greedy bankers.”

Andy Haldane – Bank of England Chief Economist

‘A big thank you today to UNISON where I met with a number of members and regional convenors in Birmingham this afternoon. Discussion covered a wide range of areas from the Union’s welfare activities, public sector pay, the impact of local government cuts through to the use of public sector pension funds. UNISON posed thoughtful and interesting questions which made for a lively debate. While there are no easy answers to many of these very challenging questions I would like to thank Unison for giving me a better understanding of the views and concerns of members today as well as further food for thought in terms of UNISON thinking on measures to make a better tomorrow.’