SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to accept that voters prioritise public services over tax cuts as demonstrated in an opinion poll published on Sunday (27th June) by the Sunday Business Post. SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, said: “The latest Red C poll published by the Sunday Business Post found that 52% were opposed to supporting tax cuts in the budget if it meant reduced investment in public services. Just 36% of respondents were in favour. This clearly shows that the majority supports the SIPTU position that investment in our public services should be a priority for government rather than tax cuts which will only further starve these essential supports for our society and economy. “The pandemic has driven home to people the crucial importance of our public services which have been at the forefront of treating the ill, rolling out the successful vaccine programme and maintaining economic activity. From hospital staff adapting to Covid-19 safety measures to local authority workers delivering food packages to the vulnerable or university lecturers maintaining education remotely, it has also shown the flexibility of public service workers.  “Public services make a crucial contribution to sustainable economic growth and, rather than being a cost, are drivers of productivity; the examples of this are numerous such as education and the development of human capital to the roads upon which our commerce depends.” He added: “It is essential that the Government accepts that public services will be one of the main foundations of developing a modern and dynamic economy as we emerge from the pandemic. There is a direct link between spending on public services and economic growth, especially through investment in a healthy and highly educated workforce and promoting technological efficiencies in enterprises.   “SIPTU representatives across the country will continue to drive home the message that what is needed is greater investment in public services not their degradation through reduced funding as a result of tokenistic tax cuts.”