Tag Archives: bonus

£1 million in bonuses for DWP bosses who cut benefits and ramped up poverty


Tories rely on selfishness for their power – and this story seems to show that they have a point.

Bosses at the Department for Work and Pensions have pocketed £1 million in bonuses for imposing a system that has plunged the most vulnerable people in the UK into poverty, despair and in many cases suicide.

What do they care? They’ve made a pretty penny from it!

The Tory reward for cruelty means the number of people in poverty totals 22 per cent of the population. In 2017 – three years ago – that number was 14 million.

Current figures show four million children to be in poverty now.

Who knows how many are destitute now?

Just don’t expect any sympthy from DWP bosses. They’re laughing all the way to the bank.

Source: Outcry over £1m bonus for DWP bosses who cut benefits causing poverty – Daily Record

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Corbyn humiliates Johnson over Greggs bonus – that might as well be a donation to the government

Remember the £300 bonus Greggs bakery was offering to staff?

The one that Ally Fogg on Twitter said might as well be a £7 million donation to the Treasury because most employees are on Universal Credit and the system will claw back the cash?

Jeremy Corbyn does.

Having researched the issue, he has worked out that most workers will retain only £75 – a quarter of the bonus. The rest will go to the Treasury.

So he took Boris Johnson to task over it in Prime Minister’s Questions on January 22:

All he got back – all we got – was more bluster and bumbling from an amateur politician who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

It’s clear that the only people taking home more of our workers’ pay are in the Tory government.

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Is Greggs £300 staff bonus actually a donation to the Tory government?

Loadsamoney: Greggs is giving around £7 million to the government – indirectly, as the £300 per-employee bonus will be taken from their Universal Credit claims.

On the face of it, this looked like a pleasant display of solidarity with hard-working staff – but it seems they won’t actually be any better-off.

Bakery chain Gregg has announced a £300 bonus for thousands of staff members – their share of a £7 million total resulting from a “phenomenal year” for the company.

There’s just one problem: most of these people are on Universal Credit and any bonuses they receive will be subtracted from their benefit payments in the future.

That’s the word from Twitter user Ally Fogg, anyway. In a tweet that has, itself, proved phenomenally popular, this person stated [boldings mine]:

“Just asked my Greggs inside informant if everyone is chuffed about their ~£300 bonus?

“‘Not really. Most of us are on Universal Credit. We’ll get the bonus end of Jan & it will be taken out of our UC payments in March. They’ve basically just handed £7m back to the govt.'”

So we see that Universal Credit is a poverty trap.

The Tories have succeeded in keeping minimum wages lower than the minimum that people need – in reality – in order to pay all their bills.

This means people on minimum wages – like the majority of Greggs employees – must claim state benefits, and the state benefit at the moment is Universal Credit.

UC automatically adjusts the amount of benefit people receive according to any changes in their income – in real time. So a £300 bonus would wipe out a working claimant’s benefit payments for a period of time.

And the money would stay in the Treasury. The employees won’t see any extra cash at all.

Ally Fogg went on to lay no blame on Greggs:

“I’m not criticising Greggs. They’re trying to do the right thing. Problems are 1/ Service sector wages are so dismally low that the govt (or taxpayers) are effectively subsidising employers to enable them to pay starvation wages, and 2/ UC is a chaotic, counterproductive mess.”

But obviously something needs to change if companies really want to give their staff a boost. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Source: Greggs staff to get £300 bonus after ‘phenomenal year’ – BBC News

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Tories axe £10 Christmas bonus for people on Universal Credit

[Image: Max Albedo.]

The spite of the Tory rich knows no limits.

Even in the so-called Season of Goodwill, they delight in hurting others.

Let’s be honest, the £10 Christmas bonus for benefit claimants isn’t anything like the boost it was when it was introduced in 1972 or thereabouts – but it was still a valuable piece of public relations for our penny-pinching, privileged government of the wealthy.

Not any more, it seems. The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that the bonus is not being paid to anybody claiming Universal Credit.

Notice that no announcement was made; claimants had to find out for themselves.

But now the news is spreading, courtesy of the Twitterati:

With the Tory government teetering on the brink of oblivion due to prime minister Theresa May’s recklessness over Brexit, this could be a disastrous miscalculation – an act of selfishness affecting millions of people.

Spread the word.

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Carillion protected bosses’ bonuses before running into financial crisis

Bonuses: Carillion is under pressure to recoup some of the millions of pounds shelled out to former chief exec Richard Howson (pictured) and ex-finance chief Richard Adam.

What an astonishing coincidence!

And what an amazing stroke of luck that these executive bonuses were protected months before anyone had any idea that Carillion would get into financial trouble.

Isn’t it?

Now, instead of having to fund the hole in its finances from its own resources, Carillion and its lenders are expecting us – you and me – to subsidise its failures. Here’s Martin Shovel to explain, better than This Writer managed in my previous article:

Troubled engineer Carillion introduced tougher rules that protect bonuses paid to bosses – just months before it was embroiled in an accounting crisis that wiped £600 million off its shares.

The firm changed the wording of its pay policy to make it harder for investors to claw back bonuses paid to executives in the event it ran into financial difficulty.

Essentially, this means that executives would have to be guilty of fraudulent behaviour rather than just the more general failure of the firm.

In recent days Carillion has been under pressure from investors to recoup some of the millions of pounds in bonuses paid to former chief executive Richard Howson and ex-finance chief Richard Adam when they were in charge.

A probe by the Mail has found that previously bosses could have been forced to hand back their annual bonus and share awards in ‘circumstances of corporate failure’.

Source: Carillion protected bosses’ £4m bonuses before crisis | This is Money


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Bankers’ bonus cap could be scrapped after Brexit

Mark Carney speaking at the Bank of England. The governor said it was important to take a tough regulatory stance on the banking sector [Image: Andy Rain/EPA].

Is this the reason certain people in the financial sector are so keen on Brexit?

Bankers caused the crash and subsequent Great Recession, around a decade ago, but Tories tried to blame it on the Labour Party in an attempt to divert attention away from the huge bonuses that were still being paid out.

It wasn’t until 2014 that a cap was introduced on bankers’ bonuses. Now, it seems, that cap could be removed with our departure from the EU, making it possible for bankers to fleece the rest of us, all over again.

Why are these people so greedy? Isn’t twice (or even three times) an already-enormous salary enough?

The governor of the Bank of England has raised the prospect that, after Brexit, the EU rule which puts a cap on bankers’ bonuses could be scrapped.

Mark Carney, a long-standing critic of the bonus rules, listed the cap as among the tweaks that could be made to financial regulations when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

The bonus cap was introduced in January 2014 and was a reaction to the financial crisis when bankers received multi-million payouts despite huge losses. The cap limits payouts to 100% of salary or 200% with explicit approval from shareholders.

Source: EU rule capping bankers’ bonuses ‘could be scrapped after Brexit’ | Business | The Guardian


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Almost £140 million in bonuses for DWP staff – for sanctioning people off benefits?

Gosh – nearly £140 million in bonuses to DWP staff in three years is pretty impressive. What did those people do to deserve that cash?

Did they…

Run a ‘Space Invaders Challenge’ (whatever that is) to get Employment and Support Allowance claimants off their books, as staff at Yardley Job Centre did?

DWP insist they do not set targets for getting people off ESA [Image: Reuters].

[Image: Reuters].

Employment Minister Justin Tomlinson was shamed into ordering Job Centre “advisers” to take down the poster, but his only comment was that it was not “presented in the best way.”

Or did they…

Award themselves ‘sheriff stars’ for hitting sanction targets?

According to The Void, Job Centres are being awarded special 'sheriff stars' for meeting sanction targets (that's right - the sanction targets that the DWP keeps insisting don't exist, even after being presented with the proof). Link: http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/sandra-gives-the-game-away-jobcentres-given-sheriffs-stars-for-hitting-benefit-sanction-targets/

According to The Void, Job Centres were being awarded special ‘sheriff stars’ for meeting sanction targets. Link: http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/sandra-gives-the-game-away-jobcentres-given-sheriffs-stars-for-hitting-benefit-sanction-targets/

I know – the DWP insists that it has no targets for sanctions, even after it has been presented with photographic proof, like the above.

Or did they do even worse things that have yet to be made public?

For a current example of the way Job Centres treat benefit claimants, see: Teen committed suicide after being ‘belittled’ by Job Centre staff

Over the last three years, the Department for Work and Pensions has handed out £139.9 million in bonuses to its staff – £124.37 million of which has gone to Senior Civil servants.

In the year ending April 2015, the DWP paid out £42.1 million, slightly less than the year before when bonuses totalled £46.5 million.

The DWP has insisted that bonuses are only paid to employees whose work is consistently good or outstanding.

Responding to a written question from Andrew Gwynne MP, Work and Pensions Minister Justin Tomlinson said: “In line with Civil Service pay guidance, DWP rewards employees for their performance through either end of year non-consolidated payments and/or in-year payments. In year payments are limited to 0.23 per cent of the total DWP paybill.

“Employees who have attained agreed performance levels as part of their performance review may receive an end of year non-consolidated payment based on their grade and end of year performance marking. End of year payments are limited to 1.9 per cent of the total DWP paybill”

Source: DWP staff received almost £140 million in bonuses over the last three years | The Independent

Note: The figures relate to the three years up to late 2015. Who knows how much has been handed out to DWP staff since then?

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DWP staff received almost £140 million in bonuses over the last three years

141120IDSlaughed2
Knowing what we do about the performance of the Department for Work and Pensions – and in anticipation of some further information soon to be released by This Blog – the following announcement by the DWP is in phenomenally bad taste:

Over the last three years, the Department for Work and Pensions has handed out £139.9 million in bonuses to its staff – £124.37 million of which has gone to Senior Civil servants.

In the year ending April 2015, the DWP paid out £42.1 million, slightly less than the year before when bonuses totalled £46.5 million.

The DWP has insisted that bonuses are only paid to employees whose work is consistently good or outstanding.

In response to that, the obvious question is: By whose standards?

This is the government organisation that has hounded thousands – perhaps millions – of people off of state benefits which they deserved to have, leaving more than half of the people found ‘fit for work’ by late 2012 with no income at all.

It is the organisation whose policies led to the deaths of at least two people – Michael O’Sullivan and Julia Kelly.

It is also the organisation that managed to improve its claimants’ chances of survival by suspending part of its benefit assessment procedure.

That’s right – This Blog has evidence suggesting that the number of people who died while claiming Employment and Support Allowance actually fell when repeat assessments were suspended in early 2014.

What do you think that implies about the effect of work capability assessments in general?

A full article will follow in a few hours.

Source: DWP staff received almost £140 million in bonuses over the last three years | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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Do you know the horrifying facts about your own MP?

150319RogerWilliams

Don’t let the appearance of serious concern fool you – Roger Williams has done more harm than good in the last five years. Can you say that your MP hasn’t?

You can tell there’s an election on the way when the dreaded Liberal Democrat Block Graph appears in your letterbox.

“Only Roger Williams MP and the Lib Dems can stop the Tories here in Brecon & Radnorshire!” today’s leaflet screamed, while the graph pointed to a 10 per cent turnout for Labour (highlighted in orange – isn’t that the Lib Dems’ colour?) from 2010 to illustrate its point.

But 2010 was a long time ago. Since then, Roger has betrayed us all in Parliamentary votes many times.

Are you upset about the funding cuts to local government services? Roger voted for those cuts.

Struggling to pay your council tax? Roger voted strongly to make councils responsible for helping people pay – and for reducing the amount spent on that support.

Are you unemployed, sick or disabled? Roger voted strongly for cuts to welfare benefits, and for the uprating cap that means benefits don’t rise in line with prices.

He voted against investing public money in guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time out of work.

He voted to increase VAT, but not to increase taxes for the immensely rich – and he fully supported cutting the rate of corporation tax, so rich firms became even richer.

Remember the bankers who caused the financial crisis? Roger voted against clawing back money from them. He refused to support the bankers’ bonus tax.

Remember the botched privatisation of the Royal Mail? Roger fully supported it.

He voted very strongly in favour of ending financial support for people aged 16-19 in training and further education.

He voted very strongly in favour of restricting access to justice so that only the rich can get a fair hearing in court, by restricting the scope of Legal Aid – and he voted for the creation of so-called ‘secret courts’.

He is in favour of the waste of money known as Police and Crime Commissioners, against restricting rises in rail fares, very strongly for selling off England’s state-owned forests and against green energy.

Oh – and he voted for the Bedroom Tax too.

He also voted very strongly in favour of the Tories’ creeping privatisation of the National Health Service.

His leaflet states: “The Tories want to cut pay for Llandrindod Wells’ nurses and teachers. Who can stop them?

Not Roger Williams, obviously. His record shows he has been cheering them on.

This writer actually helped vote Roger Williams into his Parliamentary seat, back in 2001. Admittedly it was a tactical choice, to make sure that the constituency did not go to a Conservative candidate.

Now I know that, given the chance, Roger won’t act in the best interest of the people, but in those of whoever gives him his orders that day.

But never mind my MP – how has yours behaved? You can find out on theyworkforyou.com

What you discover may surprise you!

And Llandrindod Wells’ nurses and teachers?

I would rather rip Roger’s throat out with my own teeth than make him responsible for their pay and conditions.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Iceland is jailing bankers – we’re still giving them bonuses

150219icelands-jailed-bankers

Iceland’s Supreme Court have sentenced four bank bosses from Kaupthing bank to serve jail time, according to yournewswire.com.

Bankers Sigurdur Einarsson, former chairman of the board, Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, the former chief executive, Magnus Gudmundsson, the former chief executive of the Luxembourg branch and Olafur Olafsson, one of the majority owners, were sentenced to jail time of between four and five and a half years each.

The court found that they hid the fact that Qatari investor Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad al-Thani bought a stake in Kaupthing, using money borrowed illegally from the bank itself.

Al-Thani’s purchase, a 5.1 per cent share, was announced only a few weeks before the bank collapsed. It was seen as a confidence boost for the bank while rumours circulated that it was in trouble.

These are the heaviest sentences for financial fraud in Iceland’s history. The four will have to pay their own legal costs for the case, which amount to 82 million kronur or approximately 670 thousand US dollars.

You can read the full story on yournewswire.com.

Meanwhile, in the UK – where bank bonus culture continues unabated – the former boss of a huge multinational bank (HSBC) that illegally helped more than 7,000 customers to avoid paying their taxes appears to be under the protection of the country’s prime minister – whose own family (as has been well-established) made its money from advising people on how to avoid paying taxes.

HM Revenue and Customs has identified 1,100 UK citizens who could be prosecuted for avoiding tax – only one person has faced such prosecution.

One of the UK’s most respected newspapers, the Daily Telegraph, has been avoiding the story (allegedly) because it wants to protect a lucrative advertising contract with HSBC.

Our government of Conservative Party and Liberal Democrat MPs is – as far as anybody can see – protecting the people who caused the financial crash of 2007 onwards, along with those who – by withholding the tax money they owe the UK Treasury – have forced unnecessary austerity onto the poorest people in the country.

It is estimated that thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of people have died because of benefit cuts and sanctions that have been administered either by fraud or error.

Yet the Conservative Party is still expected to return nearly 300 members to Parliament on May 8.

Can anybody explain that?

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