Tag Archives: wage

Has Boris Johnson manufactured a way to blame poor people for catching Covid-19?

Money: Tories use it to force people into actions they would not otherwise take – like going to work after being told to self-isolate due to a risk that they have Covid-19, because otherwise they could not afford to feed their families.

This is absolutely despicable:

A “perfect storm” of low wages, cramped housing and failures of the £22bn test-and-trace scheme has led to “stubbornly high” coronavirus rates in England’s most deprived communities, an unpublished government report has found.

A classified analysis by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), produced last month, concluded that “unmet financial needs” meant people in poorer areas were less likely to be able to self-isolate because they could not afford to lose income.

In two of the UK’s worst-hit areas, Blackburn-with-Darwen and Leicester, the study found that more people seeking financial help to self-isolate had been rejected than accepted. It said: “This could increase the likelihood for individuals to be unable to comply with self-isolation requirements as a result of their unmet needs.”

The report, marked “Official Sensitive”, and seen by the Guardian, will pile pressure on ministers to improve government support for the millions of people who do not currently qualify when they are ordered by law to quarantine at home. Dido Harding, the head of NHS test and trace, has estimated that at least 20,000 people a day are not complying fully with isolation orders, allowing the virus to spread.

So: people are on lower incomes because Tory policies have pushed wages down.

Now, when they desperately need government help to bridge the gap between their earnings (or 80 per cent of them if these people are on the furlough scheme) and their needs, they find the government has turned its collective back.

(It seems it has far too many crony companies to subsidise, in return for no service at all; Dido Harding, mentioned in the Guardian article, knows all about that.)

So they find they can’t comply with orders to self-isolate; in order to feed themselves and their children, they have to keep going to work.

Then they return home, where poverty means they have to live in homes that are too small for the number of people in their families, and – if they’ve contracted the virus – they pass it on very easily.

It is a complication of the Covid crisis that has been created entirely by Conservative governments.

No wonder they haven’t published the damning report.

Of course, without the fairly essential piece of knowledge that wages have been pushed down by the Tories, this story could be damning against the poor victims instead.

I’m sure you can picture the headlines in the yellow press (The Mail, The Express, The Sun): Greedy grafters ignore experts to spread killer Covid or some such twaddle.

The report remains unpublished at the time of writing (to the best of my knowledge) so I don’t think for a moment that Boris Johnson and his ghouls will feel any need to improve government support for people who are told to self-isolate.

It’ll be interesting to see whether they try to condemn the people they have impoverished, though.

Source: England’s poorest areas hit by Covid ‘perfect storm’ – leaked report | World news | The Guardian

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‘Slave plantation’ MP Drax shamed over non-payment of minimum wage

Richard Drax.

Why do villains like this always get away with the harm they do?

Worse, why do they insult us by standing for Parliament – and why do we self-harm by voting them in?

It’s insanity.

So Richard Drax – allegedly the wealthiest landowner in the House of Commons – is a director of the Morden Estates Company and signed off on the underpayment of 43 workers there.

This has put his firm on a list of 139 businesses … in a government press release headed “Rogue employers named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage”.

How did Drax’s family get so rich? From recent headlines it seems they profited from slavery:

He has recently been facing calls to pay reparations over the Drax Hall Plantation in Barbados. His ancestors had a slave workforce there for nearly 200 years.

Some people never change, it seems.

Drax himself has said

the “technical infringement” concerned “beaters” – people who drive game birds out of their cover at shooting events. He said they traditionally took part for enjoyment but had been paid a “modest sum”.

Nobody, it seems, has tracked down any of these beaters to ask if the MP’s information is correct. It seems that, because he is an MP, and a landowner, and an employer, he is automatically allotted the last word.

Note also that fellow Tory Richard Jenrick has recently launched a plan for legislation to protect monuments to historical slavers.

If those statues represent the ancestors of colleagues like Drax, the motivation seems clear.

Source: MP Richard Drax’s family business “shamed” over minimum wage | Bournemouth Echo

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Coffey tells people earning less than minimum wage to take Universal Credit or blow their savings

Therese Coffey: if she’s an example of Tory ‘levelling up’ then we need to get rid of them for the sake of the nation.

If you can’t see what’s wrong with the pictured evoked by the headline, it’s simple: nobody should be earning less than the minimum wage.

There’s a reason it’s called the minimum. It is the legal limit below which no employer should be paying anybody.

But the Johnson government’s Work and Pensions Secretary – who should know this – didn’t.

Therese Coffee really is a waste of a Commons seat.

On Sky News yesterday (October 14), she refused to answer when Kay Burley repeatedly asked her if she could live on £5.84 an hour.

Instead, she said people could claim Universal Credit to have that amount topped up (after the obligatory five-week wait, but she didn’t mention that).

Or those with more than £16,000 in savings – which she described as “substantial” although This Writer is sure she and her fellow Tory ministers would consider it a pittance – could drill into that money until it is gone.

What a charmer. Here she is, avoiding the question:

And here’s the backlash:

(For those who can’t read images, Cleverly tweeted that, at elections, Labour think you’re an adult at 16, but when it comes to bus travel you’re not an adult until 25 – to which The Daily Politik responded that, when it comes to paying taxes, the Tories think you’re an adult at 16, but you don’t qualify for an adult minimum wage until 25.)

Meanwhile, the Tories have used the Covid crisis give huge amounts of cash to firms run by their chums, avoiding the normal tendering process. One such firm is paying people the equivalent of £1.5 million per year – each – to do nothing.

That is what the Conservatives call “levelling up”: they take your cash and use it to further enrich their friends.

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Rishi Sunak thinks taking cash from the starving poor is the way to pay for Covid-19

Remember this? It led to a huge rise in Covid-19 infections. Now Sunak is planning to make the poor pay for his mistakes.

The absolute state of this.

The Chancellor who told us to “eat out to help out” – triggering an exponential increase in Covid-19 infections that led to new restrictions – is now trying to work out how the UK will pay for his government’s mistakes.

And of course he isn’t going to ask the filthy-rich corporates who have made a fortune while the crisis has been happening to pay a bit more.

No – he wants to grind you further into the dirt:

Rishi Sunak has looked at a freeze on benefits and public sector pay to fight the spiralling cost of the coronavirus crisis, it is reported today.

Sources failed to rule out the crushing blow to millions of workers and the poorest – just a few years after long austerity freezes finally ended.

The Chancellor is also said to be trying to persuade Boris Johnson to suspend the “triple lock” on pensions, reports the Mail on Sunday – amid fears it will artificially rise due to the economic turmoil.

So he’ll freeze wages and benefits at a time when his boss Boris Johnson’s international law-breaking Brexit is likely to cause massive price increases on basic food items.

And he wants to freeze pensions as well, to put the pensioners who were left after his government’s Covid-19-fuelled cull into the same predicament.

It has all been about protecting the super-rich, of course. The lockdown that was supposed to kill off Covid-19 didn’t, because Sunak, Johnson and their gang wanted to get us all back to the coalface, making money for the big corporate bosses who donate to the Tory party.

Now, despite the fact that this corporates have increased their riches steadily over the course of the pandemic, Sunak still doesn’t dare tap them to help pay for the results of their government lackeys’ efforts to keep them in gravy.

And this creep was supposed to be the great white hope of the Conservative Party?

Source: Rishi Sunak ‘considers freezing benefits and wages’ to pay for Covid crisis – Mirror Online

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One in eight childcare workers in England earns much less than the minimum wage

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

This research shows all the hallmarks of Tory employment policy: early years workers – predominantly female – are considered to be of low worth and paid less than the minimum wage, and have few career options – and the Covid crisis is likely to make matters worse.

It’s Conservative policy, remember: they have victimised women since they got back into office in 2010, with the so-called austerity policies attacking women far more than men.

One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour, according to new research which warns that low pay, high workload and a lack of career development are having an adverse effect on the sector.

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) report says… as many as 13% of childcare workers are paid under £5 an hour.

The workforce included apprentices, students on placement, volunteers as well as childminders, hence the low hourly rates.

Staff turnover is high at 13%, with one in six leaving their posts within a year, and 37% quitting within two years.

The report also highlights a lack of training opportunities for those who enter the workforce, which is 96% female, with just 17% of early years workers in receipt of job-related training.

Workload is high and the job carries considerable responsibility – more than one in 10 (11%) full-time early years workers reported working more than 42 hours per week, compared to 3% of retail workers.

It’s cognitive dissonance; the job is clearly highly-responsible and stressful, yet the remuneration is pitiful and there are no associated benefits.

Does this not indicate a political decision by the Tories?

That party’s notorious “nudge unit” has long been tasked with pushing people into particular decisions by making the alternative unacceptable.

Apparently they don’t want children to have professional care while we go to work.

Clearly we’ll all have to stay at home instead – or stop having children so we can go to work.

But if we stay home, what will happen to the economy?

And if we stop having children, well, there aren’t enough people working in the economy to support the current number of senior citizens, and that will only get worse if the working population diminishes – as it must in that eventuality.

So it seems that, by allowing childcare workers to be treated so badly, the Tories are deliberately trying to trash the UK economy.

And some of us voted them into office with a landslide in order to do that.

Were these voters ill, or insane, or suffering mass hysteria?

Source: One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour | Childcare | The Guardian

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Johnson outdoes himself: minimum wage rise has upset employees and employers alike

Money: Boris Johnson is rolling in it but his policies have starved the UK of the cash that is the lifeblood of the economy.

Did you think the boost to the minimum wage was a wonderful thing?

Really?

I saw a rich toff on holiday in the sun, throwing a few crumbs at the plebs, so they won’t complain when he comes home and really puts the screws on them.

And did you notice?

The rise still won’t cover the cost of living; people on the minimum wage will have to try to claim benefits as well.

“National Living Wage” – it’s as much of a mockery as it was when the Tories first changed the name.

Oh – and the British Chambers of Commerce are already playing up about it.

They reckon it will eat into training and investment budgets – which is interesting because in This Writer’s experience such budgets no longer exist.

What do these bosses have against paying a decent wage for a day’s work, anyway?

They have tripled their own remuneration over the last 10 years under the Tories, after all.

Still, when all is considered, Boris Johnson is to be congratulated.

He has managed to make an inflation-busting pay increase leave everybody short-changed.

Minimum wage workers will receive a 51p an hour boost from April, the Government announced last night.

The National Living Wage, which is the legal pay floor for employees aged 25 and over, will rise from £8.21 to £8.72.

The rate for 21 to 24 years olds will climb from £7.70 to £8.20.

In contrast, the Real Living Wage, set by independent experts and championed by the Living Wage Foundation, is £9.30 an hour rising to £10.75 in London, where costs are higher.

It is earned by all workers regardless of their age.

Source: Minimum wage will rise by 51p to £8.72 an hour in April, government announces – Mirror Online

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Johnson has broken his minimum wage promise. Will his Tory manifesto be as worthless as May’s?

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. Was he wearing it when he promised a big increase in the ‘National Living Wage’?

Boris Johnson has broken his manifesto promise to increase the “National Living Wage” (he means the minimum wage), within days of using it to win a landslide election victory.

Page 14 of the Tory Manifesto states categorically: “In our first months, we announced an increase in the National Living Wage to two thirds of average earnings, currently forecast at £10.50 an hour, and widened its reach to everyone over 21. That means an average pay rise of £4,000 per year for four million people by 2024.”

This was the flagship policy announcement at the Tory conference, where Chancellor Sajid Javid proclaimed it would show the Tories are “the workers’ party”.

It was to be achieved by pegging the wage to two-thirds of median earnings, not 60 per cent as it is now.

But in the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament last Friday, the words “provided economic conditions allow” had been inserted – rendering the promise meaningless.

The Tories will always be able to find an economic adviser who can claim conditions don’t allow a rise in the minimum wage.

In fact, with Johnson’s Brexit disaster looming large, it might be a long time before those on the minimum see any wage rise at all. Meanwhile the cost of living may rise out of control.

(… Not that I want to worry you!)

Then when the dirty Johnson decides to call another election (should that every happen), he can always wheel out the same promise all over again and know he can expect enough people to believe it – all over again.

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Dupers’ delight: body language suggests Javid and Johnson’s policy promises are lies

Consider this:

‘This is Boris Johnson talking about his new policy in “building 40 new hospitals” – mouth curling and raised eyebrows are micro-expressions indicating someone is lying. It’s called “dupers delight”,’ according to a post on Facebook.

 

“Duper’s delight”…

“Duper n. a person who deceives or tricks someone.”

It seems Mr Johnson may not have been entirely truthful about his promise to invest billions in NHS hospitals, then.

Now, what about this:

Chancellor Sajid Javid has pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 within the next five years.

He will also lower the age threshold for those who qualify from 25 to 21.

Look at his face:

It’s not going to happen under the Tories, is it?

Mr Javid was just saying it as something to put up against Labour’s offer. If you’ve forgotten (or weren’t aware of) what Labour’s offer is, it’s this:

Labour pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10 an hour in 2020 and to include all workers under 18 – who currently get a minimum wage of £4.35.

Even on the surface, Labour’s offer is better – £10 an hour, for everyone, by 2020 leaves opportunity for much more growth than an extra 50p by 2024, which is all Mr Javid is offering, and then only for people aged above 21.

But the clincher is always going to be the simple fact of body language that it seems neither BoJob nor The Collector can hide:

Labour’s offer isn’t a lie.

Source: Tory conference: National Living Wage to rise to £10.50, says chancellor – BBC News

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‘Worrying’ rise in people being paid below minimum wage – including carers, Tories?

Only a day after I reported on the way Tories are trying to penalise people on Carers Allowance who are being paid only a fraction of what their job deserves… this:

A “worrying” number of workers are being paid less than the minimum wage despite government efforts to name and shame offending employers.

A new study by the Low Pay Commission found that 439,000 people in the UK were paid less than the legal minimum in April 2018 – up 30,000 on the year before.

Women were still more likely to be paid below minimum wage, which stands at £8.21 for workers aged 25 and over and £7.71 for those between 21 and 24.

Childcare had the highest rate of underpaid workers, followed by hospitality, retail and cleaning.

Is it any wonder employers are scorning the minimum wage – especially those specialising in child care?

They’re just following the Conservative government’s own treatment of carers.

Source: ‘Worrying’ rise in number of people being paid below minimum wage, study finds | The Independent


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Here’s why people in the UK have really strange ideas about wealth

Laura Pidcock MP.

Isn’t it odd that people think if you’re wealthy, you can’t sympathise with or support people who aren’t as fortunate?

Labour MP Laura Pidcock had a taste of that attitude, as the record on Twitter showed:

The critic was a chap called Bryon Backhouse who appears to have deleted his Twitter history/account and started again after this embarrassing incident.

His comment, “Nice boots Laura, but at £380 a pair my wife will have to make do with slippers from M&S,” indicates a suggestion that her socialism is fake – that she’s in Parliament for the large MP salary that allows her to afford a pair of pricey boots.

Ms Pidcock swiftly put him straight: “LOL they were about £40”.

You have to laugh yourself, don’t you?

And John Scratcher’s response, “He’s probably trying the old fallacy that someone on £75k isn’t allowed to care about poor people,” seems right on the button.

Of course it isn’t true.

The measure of a citizen in today’s United Kingdom isn’t the amount they earn; it’s whether they are willing to pay their way – to give up a proportionate amount of their income for the state to use, investing in the economy or providing social security.

Sadly, too many Conservatives seem determined to avoid this responsibility – hiding their wealth in tax havens or pursuing other ways of avoiding paying their fair share.

If anybody thinks it is a coincidence that the UK is due to leave the European Union a matter of days before new EU laws come into force, forbidding tax avoidance, they need to think again.

So, for me, a person who takes home a huge amount of money is entitled to every penny – apart from the amount that is levied by the state.

As that person has benefited from economic conditions created by the state, it seems only right that they should contribute as well.

It seems clear that Ms Pidcock does indeed contribute in that way. I wonder if her critic does?

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