The government’s ‘estimate’ that tomorrow’s strikes would cost Britain up to £500million was widely criticised by Union representatives.
Danny Alexander came up with the amount, saying: “£500 million is a realistic worst-case estimate of the impact of this day of strike action on the economy, assuming that everyone the unions balloted goes on strike. That’s a very significant hit to the economy at what is an incredibly challenging time for the UK and for economies all round the world. That’s one of the reasons why this strike action is so irresponsible.”
The response by trade union officials describe the figure as “fantasy economics”.
There is certain to be much disruption caused by the industrial action, but it’s baffling that any sort financial cost can be put on the strikes.
For a start, those involved will lose a day’s pay. Even worked out at the national average wage, it would result in a public sector saving of nearly £100 per person, and over £192million in total, based on the expected number of two million workers striking.
More important for the economy is that with Christmas less than a month away, and thousands of school closures throughout the country, the day of action may be used by many to get some of those all important presents sorted. A welcome midweek boost for the nation’s retailers.
So amongst all the doom, gloom, and disruption, there are some positives, after all.