I For One Have Had Enough

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Forgive me but I’m going to have a rant.

Just about every form of Emergency Service (and others) that I can think of is being faced with cutbacks.

Pay Freezes are not uncommon.

Only today it was announced that about 1,000 Civil Servants in Micahel Gove’s department (Education) face the risk of redundancy, that’s apparently a QUARTER of the workforce.  The DfE is having to make savings of 50% (£296 Million) by 2015/2016.  I feel sorry for the Civil Servants in question in the same way that I would feel sorry for anybody facing redundancy, but then my mind started to wander (nothing new there then) and I had me a few thoughts.

a)  With all of these cutbacks in our public services are we going to get reductions in our Council Tax and Income Tax?  I can see the answer to that being a big fat no, but think about it for a minute.  Part of our Council Tax goes directly to pay for your local Police.  If there’s less of them, they don’t need as much money from us.  Inflation through the back door.  They can’t use the argument that we need to keep Council Tax at the same level to fund the shortfall, because that is what the Force’s budgetary savings are having to do.

b)  With all of these people being made redundant, what is Dave going to do with the unemployment figures?  The way the unemployment figures are massaged already leaves me dazed and confused.  The headline today was

UK unemployment falls to 2.51 million, ONS says

The unemployment total is now 110,000 lower than for the July-September quarter last year, the ONS said.

Well that’s very good, I’m all in favour of less unemployment.  But then I noticed this little sentence hidden in there;

“But the ONS said that the claimant count rose by 10,100 last month to 1.58 million, the highest since July.”

So does this mean that are nearly 1 million people unemployed who are not claiming?  How does that work?  If this statistic means anything at all it shows an INCREASE.

Part-time employment increased by 49,000 to 8.1 million, close to a record high,  the ONS also said that the jobless rate among 16 to 24-year-olds was still 963,000. This figure includes 315,000 unemployed young people in full-time education.  How does that work?  Unemployed whilst in Full Time Education?

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said “Today’s figures showed another very sharp increase in long-term unemployment, heading up now towards the million mark. That’s a third of [the total number of] people out of work, so it’s a huge issue.

So it’s not all roses is it?  Once again we are being bamboozled.

And finally, to upset my afternoon cup of coffee and Countdown I found this, old news but was probably hidden;

MPs’ pay could climb by 40 per cent to £92,000 under pensions review

So the Police, NHS and others have suffered pay freezes for a minimum of 2 years.  Thousands face redundancy all over the public sector.

This hair-brained scheme has been born out of a review of their remuneration by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), the watchdog set up after the expenses scandal three years ago.  Now it’s more difficult for politicians to fiddle their expenses they seem about to get a 40% pay rise.  Hasn’t Dave told them we’re still in a period of AUSTERITY?

“At the moment, MPs’ annual salary is approximately 2.5 to 2.9 times national annual average earnings, depending on which measure is used.”

Its review said suggestions for the appropriate multiplier for calculating salaries had ranged “from 1.5 to 4 times national average earnings”.

On the basis that the current average pay is £23,000 a year, four times that amount would produce a pay packet of around £92,000 for MPs.

The watchdog signalled it did not back proposals for regionalising pay, depending on which constituencies politicians represented, pointing out that “most MPs live and work in London for a large part of the week when Parliament is sitting”.  Regional pay is good enough for the plebs but not for the toffs apparently.

It also rejected the notion of basing remuneration on performance or time served in the Commons and suggested a link to earnings before entering parliament would “disadvantage some candidates”.

It highlighted the idea of having two salary levels – one for the dozens of MPs who hold second jobs and another for those who give up extra work – but did not reach a conclusion on its merits.


But there is some good news, MPs salaries are being limited a 1% increase this year.  Tell that to everyone with a Pay Freeze, they’ll understand Dave.

Then there’s pensions.  Their pension contributions are apparently being increased to 12%.  Fine Dave, that’s OK, you can tell the thousands of public servants who are having their pension contributions raised to a higher level than that.

One last thought;

Dave – NEVER tell us again that we are all in this together.

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