Category Archives: Wages

Labour is so shifty it won’t commit to help anybody

Clueless: when Starmer was talking up Labour’s barely-scraped-together win in the Batley and Spen by-election, who knew that this gesture was his explanation of his policies – a shrug.

Isn’t it the job of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Party to say what it would do if it was running the UK?

Here’s Labour’s Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury – also known as James Murray – taking nearly two minutes to avoid giving a straight answer to a straight question: whether Keir Starmer’s newly right-wing party would reinstate the £20/week Universal Credit uplift:

He said: “I’ve been really clear.. it’s really important to be clear about this.”

Then he said three times that Labour opposed the cut, but he wouldn’t say if the party would reinstate it. That’s shifty, not clear.

His problem is that Labour is now sympathetic to the miserly billionaires who store all their cash in offshore tax havens, and this means it has no tax option to fund the £6 billion/year that would be needed to make it viable.*

For the same reason, Labour can’t commit to a higher-than-inflation public sector pay rise after Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that he was ending the current pay freeze:

Weak.

It makes Labour look like the Tories poorer little sister – unable to offer even a more imaginative alternative to big brother’s failed plans.

*We all know that the UK government can use the Bank of England to create as much money as it needs, but to be responsible it must prevent inflation via tax, right? Labour’s normal policy is to redistribute the nation’s funds (all money belongs to the government via the Bank of England, remember) by taxing the rich to pay for large-scale public services, but Keir Starmer wants to change that to a Conservative approach, and this means no cash for badly-needed social changes.

See:

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Care workers are treated like dirt by the Tories. No wonder they’re quitting

We thought this window-writing was by a child in care. It seems it might have been by a carer instead.

Here‘s another crisis the Conservative government has created for itself:

Desperately needed social care staff are quitting their jobs to work in the tourism and hospitality sector because they are ‘burnt out’, the sector has warned.

Exhausted staff are leaving the key worker roles to fill shortages in other sectors, as pubs and restaurants struggle to find enough staff.

Urgent action is needed to stop a “tsunami of unmet need” rippling across essential services this winter, the care regulator has warned.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says health and care staff are “exhausted and depleted” and working under intense levels of pressure.

The vacancy rate in care homes has steadily grown to reach 10.2% as of September – meaning in a year’s time one in 10 care home staff will not be in that job, the CQC said.

And what’s the Conservative government’s response? Make those who are left work harder.

It’s shocking – and ridiculous at the same time. Watch Peter Stefanovic’s video to grasp the full meaning of what Tory minister Gillian Keegan was backed into saying:

For fairness, here’s more of that interview, without interruptions:

I wouldn’t be surprised if every care worker who saw those clips – or the full interview when it was screened – quit their job at once.

It is clear that they aren’t valued and will simply be worked until they drop – and then blamed for the holes in the care system they leave behind.

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Tories oppose ban on ‘fire and rehire’ – supporting oppression of employees by foreign bosses?

Apologies for using the ‘foreigners own UK businesses’ line but it is important to make the point that Brexit hasn’t stopped people from foreign countries interfering in employment practices here.

On the contrary – foreign ownership of UK businesses and assets is higher than ever. Weetabix was taken over by a US corporation four years ago – after the decision to quit the European that was motivated partly by a (racist) desire to stop foreigners from taking our jobs.

How is it better for foreigners to dictate increasingly worse pay and working conditions for people in this country?

And why is the UK’s Tory government – that pushed through Brexit as a way to counter foreign interference – supporting the exploitation of our workers via fire-and-rehire?

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

Look:

Exploitative bosses? Our Angry Yorkshireman must mean the Americans who are now in charge of Weetabix:

So, what’s the message?

Johnny Foreigner coming to the UK to do work that British people won’t touch is bad…

But Johnny Foreigner owning UK businesses and attacking employees’ pay and conditions is good? For whom? It certainly isn’t helping you.

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Teachers’ pay: Zahawi’s promises are a big Con – aren’t they?

Nadhim Zahawi: flag-waving is no substitute for straight-talking – and he’s talking nonsense gibberish.

Teachers! Confused about the Tory government’s plans to raise your pay?

YOU SHOULD BE!

The government has announced plans to increase starting pay for teachers to £30,000 per year, which is still lower than the national average.

But when is that going to happen?

First it was to be from April 2022, but then the Tories imposed a pay freeze instead.

Now, there’s a vague desire to bring it in by the end of the Parliament.

But to hear new Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi waffling about it, you’d be none the wiser.

Reading a transcript doesn’t help either.

Meanwhile – well, see for yourself:

So, after promising an increase in teachers’ pay…

… the Tories have actually cut it. Yeah – so much for “levelling up”.

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Rock Bottomley: MP complains about £82k salary while millions starve after Universal Credit cut

Bottomley: the Father of the House of Commons doesn’t think MPs earn enough and says they should have as much as GPs. In the interests of “levelling up”, perhaps Boris Johnson should consider making their £100k-a-year the National Living Wage?

What an inconsiderate narcissist Peter Bottomley is!

On the day Universal Credit – the main unemployment benefit but also the subsidy paid to working people to make up for the failure of businesses to pay them a living wage – was cut, plunging 4.4 million people into poverty, he complained that his £82,000 MP’s salary isn’t enough.

He thinks he should get around the same amount as GPs – slightly more than £100,000 a year. Average salary – which is skewed upwards by the top 10 per cent of earners – is £31,000.

Strangely, he admitted that he is not suffering financially himself:

Although he said he currently is not struggling financially, he believes the situation is ‘desperately difficult’ for his newer colleagues.

The representative of Worthing West in West Sussex added: ‘I don’t know how they manage. It’s really grim.’

That didn’t stop people like his former colleague Michael Portillo leaping to support him on TV, with what can only be seen as a false argument:

Portillo was saying it must be hard for older MPs to put up with receiving the same amount as their younger colleagues, when Bottomley was saying it must be harder for younger MPs.

They can’t even get their story straight!

And the comparison with GPs doesn’t work, either, because doctors are paid according to the amount of time they work and MPs aren’t:

This Writer doubts it would work if we paid MPs by the hour; it would just give them another opportunity to submit false claims (expenses scandal, anybody?).

Bottomley deserves all the sympathy he received from satirical songwriter Mitch Benn:

It isn’t impossible – at 77, Bottomley is younger than at least one driver the government is desperate to put back in a cab:

For most of the rest of us, £82,000 a year is an impossible dream. That’s why Bottomley has received a huge amount of criticism for his selfish words. Here’s one of the milder rebukes.

Still, Boris Johnson likes to talk about “levelling up” and he’s currently waffling about wages to anybody who can still be bothered to listen.

So, what about it, Boris? The Father of the House thinks wages should rise.

How about accommodating him, and increasing the National Living Wage to £100k all around?

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Life expectancy falls, cancer deaths rise – and Johnson lies about wages

Did he say it? That hardly matters now – Boris Johnson’s own behaviour shows he agrees with the sentiment.

“Let the bodies pile high,” he said. And he meant it!

Boris Johnson has triggered a wave of outrage after he said he did not care about the increase in cancer deaths caused by his government’s failure to make the NHS capable of dealing with a pandemic like Covid.

NHS staff and resources had to be diverted from services like cancer care, meaning thousands more people have died who would not have if care had continued uninterrupted.

Not only that, but deaths attributed to Covid mean life expectancy for men has fallen. It’s being said that this is for the first time ever, although This Site has carried articles in the past that would dispute that.

And what did Johnson say? Well, see for yourself:

It is a false argument anyway.

Wage growth between April and June this year was recorded at 8.8 per cent by the Office for National Statistics – but those experts said the figure must be treated with “caution” – and for very good reason:

Annual growth in average employee pay is being affected by temporary factors that have inflated the increase in the headline growth rate; compositional effects where there has been a fall in the number and proportion of lower-paid employee jobs, therefore increasing average earnings; and base effects where the latest months are now compared with low base periods when earnings were first affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The base effect refers to the comparison of the latest months with the low base periods of April to June 2020, when earnings were affected by the coronavirus pandemic and negative pay growth rates were seen… The composition effect is where pay growth has been affected by a changing composition of employee jobs, which has increased average pay and needs to be considered when interpreting average pay growth.

In brief: there is no reason to celebrate huge wage rises because they only relate to last year’s huge wage fall.

Meanwhile, according to The Independent,

Life expectancy for men has fallen for the first time since records began, government figures revealed in September – as the higher deaths than usual caused by the pandemic begin to make an impact.

More than half a million cancer patients are missing out on vital healthcare support due to severe staff shortages across the NHS, new research from Macmillan Cancer Support revealed last month.

One in four of people who were diagnosed with cancer in the last two years have gone without proper support from a specialist nurse during that time, equating to roughly 630,000 patients, the charity said.

So Johnson’s comment was entirely backward.

The right thing to say would have been “Never mind the misleading wage rises; the important metrics are the falls in life expectancy and cancer outcomes.”

And we all know it. Ian Lavery certainly wasn’t the only one to pick up on the reversal:

And that is the line on which the Conservative Party goes into its national conference for 2021:

“Boris Johnson is a man with total contempt for human life.”

Source: Boris Johnson condemned for saying ‘never mind’ about cancer outcomes | The Independent

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Shadow employment minister quits because Starmer wanted him to oppose a fair minimum wage

Andy McDonald: more integrity than Keir Starmer. It’s not saying much, mind – Richard Nixon had more integrity than Starmer and he was so bent he needed an assistant to screw him into his trousers every morning.

What could be more embarrassing for Labour leader Keir Starmer than saying on TV that Labour would not re-nationalise key utilities, only to see the party make re-nationalising key utilities its policy on the same day?

How about his shadow Employment Secretary quitting because Starmer wanted him to speak against a plan to increase the minimum wage to a fair level?

That’s what happened at #LabourConference2021 on September 27.

In brief, Starmer ordered McDonald to argue against a £15 minimum wage and statutory sick pay at the same rate as the living wage – so McDonald quit.

In his resignation letter he made it clear that this was the last straw – implying that he had been running out of patience with Starmer for many months.

Let’s face it, the part of his letter when he said

After 18 months of your leadership, our movement is more divided than ever and the pledges that you made to the membership are not being honoured. This is just the latest of many

makes this plain.

Starmer’s own stance over minimum pay is clear. He thinks £15 is too much.

Right?

Oh, then why did he himself campaign for a £15 floor when he was trying to get Labour members to elect him as leader?

See for yourself:

Footage from this picket was indeed used for Starmer’s leadership bid:

“It will be the norm if we have a Labour government,” he said.

Liar!

It’s sickening to have this utter pondslime dragging a once-great pillar of socialism into disgrace.

Where is the “no confidence” vote?

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Freebie-guzzling Tory couple spark fury over poverty wages

Philip Davies and Esther McVey: they’re raving it up on the profits firms have made by paying employees practically nothing.

Tories Philip Davies – the Friday morning filibuster king who takes joy in “talking out” legislation, not because it is bad but because it doesn’t come from the Conservative government – and Esther McVey – whose attacks on benefit claimants are notorious – have come under fire because of the free perks they have taken for themselves.

They have claimed £18,000 worth of VIP goodies on top of their £82,000 salaries (plus expenses).

And they were among 65 Tory MPs who have taken the bulk of freebies available – £160,000 worth between May and July alone.

In contrast, 23 Labour MPs have taken nearly £32,000. That puts Davies and McVey’s greed in context: between them they have claimed more than half as much as all the Labour MPs put together.

Among the gifts are several from gambling firms, coming at a time when the government is reviewing betting laws, provoking speculation on whether they came with strings attached.

Davies should be even more embarrassed because some of these gifts came from Entain, a company for whom he was paid almost £50,000 as an advisor last year, when it was known as GVC Holdings.

Here are the details:

Now you know the story, here comes the fury as people responded to this astonishing display of scrounging by members of the party that accuses people in extreme poverty of scrounging:

How indeed? Davies said his contract with GVC Holdings explicitly stated that he must not lobby on the firm’s behalf while employed by it – but he isn’t employed by it any more. And in any case, RD Hale’s comment shows that others would be imprisoned simply for accepting corporate gifts. Why not Davies and McVey?

Others have focused on McVey’s pronouncements on people who have to claim benefits in order to make ends meet because their wages don’t cover their costs – meaning that the government pays a de facto subsidy to under-paying employers.

Remember:

So the benefits paid to working people in extreme poverty are intended to help business bosses profit – not the struggling workers. Meanwhile MPs’ salaries have nearly doubled in the last 25 years:

So MPs are on an extremely good screw – and those like Davies and McVey are scrounging more freebies out of corporations (that may even be profiting by paying low wages and expecting their employees to claim benefits). Meanwhile the same MPs are happy to demand that benefit claimants must take the worst-paying jobs available, or lose those benefits:

Now, of course, the government is preparing to remove the £20 “uplift” that was provided to UC claimants during the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

Let’s put this in a little more context:

ToryFibs is slightly mistaken; making the £20 uplift permanent would not cost any money because there are hidden costs associated with cutting incomes to a point where people cannot afford the cost of living.

But we can see that the UK’s billionaires are raking in the cash as a result of not having to pay a living wage to employees.

And saying that the “uplift” costs a huge amount of money is a handy propaganda tool – that, it seems, has been used to good effect by certain news reporters…

… who are also doing very well for themselves.

And the assumptions about the amount that people need, in order to meet their living costs, has raised questions about other government payments. So the government’s claim to have legislated to ensure that people receive a “National Living Wage” has come under attack, not just because it isn’t enough, but because it reflects badly on the UK’s woefully low state pension:

So you can understand why people are furious at Davies and McVey.

While most of us struggle to survive in jobs that force us to claim benefits that still won’t cover our living costs after the Tories cut the uplift, in order to subsidise big businesses that are raking in the profits, the same firms are handing out free luxuries to these hugely well-paid Tory MPs. And when we retire we will have to try to survive on even less.

The whole system reeks of corruption and Davies and McVey stink worst of all.

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Johnson caught lying again: latest ‘Living’ Wage rise was NOT highest on record

Duper’s delight: Boris Johnson has been caught lying to the nation yet again.

He just can’t help himself, it seems.

When Boris Johnson said, “We continually increase the Living Wage – last time by a record amount,” his words were not true.

And it is reasonable to expect that he would have known the facts of the matter. Therefore This Site may suggest with a degree of certainty that he was lying.

According to fact-checkers at Channel 4,

Mr Johnson’s claim that the most recent rise in the Living Wage was the highest ever doesn’t add up.

In April 2021, the Living Wage rose by 2.2 per cent compared to the previous year. But in April 2020, the rise was nearly three times larger at 6.2 per cent. And in 2019, the boost was 5 per cent.

In fact, the most recent rise was the lowest increase in the National Living Wage since the policy was first introduced.

And Johnson must have known this when he came out with his lie.

Those of you who are waiting for him to “move Heaven and Earth” to get our remaining people out of Afghanistan should take note – and make alternative plans.

Source: FactCheck: Johnson claims latest Living Wage rise was highest on record – Channel 4 News

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Boris Johnson’s advice to benefit claimants is insulting. I say: act on it!

Money, money, money: Boris Johnson has made loads of it by scrounging from other people and his advice to low-paid workers is clearly that they should do the same. Start with your Tory MP, if you have one.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has told working people on poverty pay, who have to claim benefits to make ends meet – and are facing a £1,000-per-year cut in those benefits – he’ll do nothing to help them.

He won’t legislate to ensure they are better-paid and he won’t cancel the Universal Benefit cut.

According to the Mirror,

Mr Johnson insisted “most” Brits want to see people’s “wages rise through their efforts” instead of claiming benefits.

Mr Johnson told broadcasters: “My preference, my strong strong preference, and I believe this is the instinct of most people in this country, is for people to see their wages rise through their efforts – rather than from taxation of other people put into their pay packets, rather than welfare.”

Read it for yourself, here:

And here are a couple of other takes on the same story:

As you may have noticed from the above tweets, his words have been met by a certain amount of… resistance.

There’s a good reason for it, as the following examples make clear: Johnson himself is the biggest scrounger in the entire country. He’s just a big, fat hypocrite – and so are his cabinet colleagues who support his policy.

This one from Super Tanskiii is particularly spicy:

Why does Johnson succeed in scrounging all this cash from donors and friends? Well, he might deny it (as suggested by this parody account) but the huge bungs of public money he’s been handing out to his donors in dodgy government contracts might have something to do with it. Do you think?

It’s all very well complaining about it, and it’s all good fun satirising it, but – knowing This Site as you do – you’re probably wondering what’s to be done about it.

My advice: take Johnson at his word and follow his example.

So you write to Tory politicians and businesses – start with those in your own Parliamentary constituency, obviously – and ask them for donations.

Promise them all a huge bung when you’re hugely successful in your chosen career.

I’ll certainly be writing to my own MP, Fay Jones (Conservative, Brecon and Radnorshire). It’ll say something like:

“Dear Ms Jones,

“I am writing in accordance with Boris Johnson’s advice to people on low pay – that we should ‘rise through our efforts’. It seems clear to me that he wishes us to follow his example, which is to subsidise his own salary with large donations from other people.

“My house has not been decorated for more than 20 years and is in desperate need of new, gold, wallpaper. The cost should come to around £240,000 and I am sure that – as a responsible constituency MP, you will be delighted to donate towards this good cause. Shall I put you down for £50k?

“From media reports, I understand that I will not be expected to provide large contracts to you or any other funders in return for your donations now, but rest assured that when I am rich and successful, your contribution – whatever it may be – will not be forgotten!”

“I await your cheque eagerly. Or would you like to pay by BACS?”

Do this thing. It may improve your life and if enough of you do it, it will certainly bring home the facts of their actions to Tory MPs.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook