About 200 public sector workers gathered in Birmingham in protest at the Budget announcement.
Representatives from public sector unions gave speeches on the steps of the Government Office for the West Midlands on Colmore Row.
Presenting a united front against cuts to front-line services, the angry union members said bankers were to blame for the financial crisis which would be paid for by the poorest in society under the coalition government’s emergency Budget.
Representatives from Unison, University and College Union, the National Union of Teachers and Public and Commercial Services Union amongst others claimed they would fight cuts to services in schools and hospitals and extra taxes for those on the lowest incomes.
Mary Pearson, from the NUT, said: “We are not responsible for this crisis and we shouldn’t be the people punished for it. What a pernicious solution to put VAT up.”
Stuart Richardson, from the Birmingham People’s Charter, which calls for increased public spending and an end to the war in Afghanistan said the freeze on public sector pay was in fact a cut.
“With inflation at five per cent, over two years that equates to a pay cut of ten per cent,” he said. “It’s not a pay freeze it’s a pay cut.”
Caroline Johnson, from Unison, said: “We are not paying for the mistakes of the bankers. Why should we lose services to pay debts we had nothing to do with? We have to stand shoulder to shoulder as public sector workers.”