Tag Archives: pay

No lessons learned – and no compensation for 118,000 benefit claimants who lost out for years

Habitual cruelty: the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Department for Work and Pensions is refusing to pay compensation to sick and disabled benefit claimants who were given the wrong payments after being moved to Employment and Support Allowance.

The injustice affects 118,000 people who should have received payments based on their income but instead received them only based on their National Insurance contributions.

It was revealed in the case of “Mrs U”, whose payments were cut by £80 per week – and stayed that way for five years.

Her payments have since been rectified, and the whole of the underpayment repaid to her – along with £7,500 in compensation ordered by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Now the same ombudsman has protested after the DWP agreed to make back-payments to 118,000 other claimants affected by its error – but not to pay them any compensation.

Ombudsman Rob Behrens said: “We don’t know how many more Ms Us there are out there.

“That is why I urge the DWP to allow people affected to claim for compensation in recognition of its error and the potentially devastating impact it has had on people’s lives.”

The DWP said it will not pay “blanket” compensation to all 118,000 people it wronged.

Instead, it said it will consider claims by people who contact it through various helplines that have been set up – or who go through the department’s labyrinthine complaints process.

It’s not good enough. And This Writer wonders how many people died before they could claim the back-pay or the compensation – or because they did not have this money.

Source: DWP denies compensation to 118,000 benefit claimants who lost out for years – Mirror Online

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Whitstable’s people are refusing to pay water bills over sewage crisis – will you?

Protest: people in Whitstable demonstrated against Southern Water’s pollution of the coastline in October.

How wonderful to see the exercise of people power!

Residents of Whitstable, in Kent, are refusing to pay their water bills until the local privatised water company stops discharging sewage into the sea.

It seems they have a very good reason to withhold their cash, as Kent Online has reported claims that people had become ill after swimming in nearby coastal waters.

Local councillor Ashley Clark explained his reasons for holding back the cash in a letter to the company dumping the sewage, Southern Water. He wrote:

Southern Water has continued to send my untreated sewerage – along with that of other local people – directly into the sea which I use on a daily basis to swim from April to October.

I find the thought of swimming in a mixture of local sewerage and seawater totally abhorrent and not something that I should be charged for.

If I paid someone to clear out my garage and take rubbish away to the tip but instead they fly-tipped it into the countryside I would be upset. Canterbury City Council prosecutes offenders for that type of activity.

Yet Southern Water continues to fly-tip sewage into my bathing water with impunity and spend my contributions on both director’s bonus payments and shareholder dividends rather than treating sewerage which hitherto I have paid for.

Accordingly, I will not be paying the £158.63 claimed by Southern Water until such time as I am satisfied that all my payment is being used for the intended purpose and I am compensated for the days on which I was advised not to swim in the sea.

Others have reported their own reasons for withholding payment.

Water companies cannot cut off residents’ water supply if they do not receive payment – they are legally prohibited from doing so, although they can take payment defaulters to court for payment.

But they may find the courts unsympathetic at the moment, because water firms are legally required not to dump untreated sewage in the UK’s waterways and on the coasts. People are justified in their anger – and they’re not saying they’ll never pay their bills.

It seems a good tactic – possibly the best, as it hits the water firms where they are most likely to pay attention: the bank account.

So the operative question is this: are you willing to do the same?

Source: Whitstable residents refuse to pay Southern Water bills until discharging sewage into sea ends

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Tory hypocrites say they can’t survive on £82k but we can make do with £18k; Johnson runs away

Backhander: if Tories are taking money from corporates, who do you think they are representing in Parliament? It isn’t you!

It doesn’t matter which side won the Parliamentary debate on whether having a second job is a mark of corruption in a member of Parliament – or whether they should be paid more, so they don’t need(?) another job.

The public decision has already been made.

So Peter Bottomley’s miserable pleading that £81,000 per year isn’t enough and MPs should be paid more is easily dismissed – especially when most of the country is trying to exist on less than £18,000.

Advisory roles?

They’re too easily corrupted into paid advocacy – exactly the kind of thing that led to Owen Paterson’s ejection from Parliament:

Richard Burgon’s comment echoes one I made a few days ago: that companies don’t hire MPs to “advise” them – they hire MPs to represent their interests when plum contracts become available.

Senior Tories still think it is acceptable to speak in support of this attitude:

Well, there are lots of MPs with second (and more) jobs in Parliament:

The rot goes right to the top:

And I wondered whether Randox will still want to employ Paterson when he is no longer an MP. What do you think the answer will be?

We’re even making jokes about it, in typical British style:

And where was Boris Johnson during the debate?

 

 

In fact, he was in a hospital in Northumbria, making a potential contagion risk out of himself by wandering around without a face mask.

He was challenged on the subject of the Parliamentary debate! But he showed what an absolute and utter disgrace he is by refusing to answer it, point-blank:

He didn’t have an answer. So, typically of this prime minister, he ran away and left his underlings to take the flak.

Boris Johnson ran away from corruption debate to run maskless through a hospital

Totally irresponsible: You can imagine Johnson’s excuse, though – “Er, er, they’re only northerners. I was trying to see how many I could contaminate in the shortest possible time. Haha!”

He’s totally irresponsible and a danger to everybody in the United Kingdom.

That was made abundantly clear when Boris Johnson elected to dodge the Parliamentary debate on MP corruption, pay and second jobs – to wander maskless through a hospital.

He, above all people, should know that nobody should go without a mask in an area where Covid-19 is likely to be found, caught, contracted. He fronted so many of the public information broadcasts about it.

Yet there he was – and you can see the photographic evidence for yourself.

What’s really amazing is the fact that he did this after contracting Covid-19, probably from visiting a hospital and shaking hands with the Covid patients who were there:

Even more shocking is the fact that the minister Johnson’s government put up to do the morning media round actually made the following excuse for his non-attendance:

Er, no – he was doing the equivalent of his erstwhile hide-in-a-fridge routine.

After the debacle of the last two years, won’t we all?

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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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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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Starmer promises fair pay for workers but – remember what he did with all his other promises?

Keir Starmer at conference. He SAYS: Blah blah blah FAIR PAY, blah blah blah WORKERS’ RIGHTS, blah blah blah PUBLIC FACING, blah blah blah. He MEANS: None of it. He’ll sell you out if he gets the chance.

Apparently the Labour leadership is going to open this year’s party conference with a promise that 

A Labour government would launch “fair pay agreements” to ensure business and employees agree and stick by minimum standards for pay and conditions.

Seem good to you?

If so, allow me to remind you:

Keir Starmer recently fired around 90 Labour employees, then re-hired around 50 of them on worse pay and conditions.

Also:

Keir Starmer made 10 promises to party members in the run-up to his election as leader in April last year – and has broken them ALL.

Does this “fair pay” promise still seem good to you?

The correct answer is “no”.

Starmer is a liar. Don’t believe his twaddle.

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Why aren’t private health employers already paying MORE than the NHS?

A hospital ward: the NHS employs workers in many more areas than merely medical care – many from private firms. Why aren’t they all on compatible pay rates and why should public funds support pay rises in private firms?

The trade union Unison has said that workers employed by private health companies – that work within the NHS – should not miss out on the three per cent pay rise the government is providing.

I have a problem with this.

We have been told for years that private health firms should be allowed to provide NHS services because they can do so, better than if the NHS offered them in-house.

Surely that should also extend to pay?

If not – as appears to be the case – then doesn’t this prove that privatisation is just a backdoor means of inappropriately funnelling cash to bosses and shareholders, that should be used on health treatments?

Also, if pay rates aren’t equal, then doesn’t this make it possible for employers to set private and public-sector workers against each other?

Finally, if private firms match the pay rise, won’t the money actually come from the UK Treasury – so the increase will be funded by the public, rather than by the private shareholders who should be providing it?

Unison has opened a huge can of worms here. Can anybody think of a solution to these problems?

Source: Union calls on private NHS employers to match public-sector pay rises | NHS | The Guardian

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The on-again, off-again, on-again Tory NHS pay offer that is so low it isn’t worth considering

Javid’s joke? Not satisfied with offering NHS workers – who have saved hundreds of thousands during the Covid crisis – a derisory, insulting pay award, the Tories appeared to withdraw it. Now they reckon it’s back again. Is this a mental torture technique they’re applying because they think it’s all a big giggle?

At the time of writing, the Tory three per cent NHS pay offer is back on the table.

It means that, taking inflation into account, NHS workers will have 0.6 per cent more money to play with – after 11 years of cuts that have reduced their incomes by 15 per cent at least.

The trouble is, we can’t be sure whether it’s really happening or not, because after the Tories announced they were trumping Labour’s – insulting – demand of a two per cent pay increase (which itself was a response to an initial one per cent rise by the Tories) we were faced with claims it had been trashed.

So can we believe Sajid Javid or do we ascribe his pay promise to Covid-19-spawned delusion?

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#KeirStarmer outwitted by dim #Tories as they leapfrog #Labour #NHSpay demand

Pennies: The Tories offered the NHS a tiny pittance and all Starmer could think to do was offer a tiny pittance more. So the Tories have offered more again and can now say that they are better for working people than Labour.

Doesn’t this just demonstrate the hopelessness of the Labour Party under Keir Starmer?

Seeing the Tories offer the National Health Service a one per cent pay raise – but unwilling to demand the 15 per cent that would level up (to adopt a current vogue phrase) their pay to pre-2010 levels, Starmer’s Labour demanded – what?

Two per cent.

And now the Tories have shown how easy it is to outwit Starmer’s dimwitted band of fake socialists, by offering three per cent.

They can now say that they are offering the workers a better deal than Labour and there is nothing Starmer can do to deny it.

Three per cent is still an almost-useless offer. Inflation currently stands at 2.4 per cent, meaning NHS workers will get a real-terms improvement of 0.6 per cent.

Then there’s this:

There is also speculation that just 1.5% of the 3% would be added permanently to salaries, with the other 1.5% given as a one-off payment. If that proves to be the way the offer is structured then workforce representatives are likely to criticise the 3% figure as a sham and too low.

So the Tory offer could be – in essence – a lie.

But people only notice the headline figure and in it they will see that the Tories are offering more than Labour.

The Tories aren’t clever. But Starmer is plain stupid. He will never beat them because he can’t. He simply doesn’t know how.

Source: NHS staff in England could be offered 3% pay rise | NHS | The Guardian

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