Tag Archives: wage

Can you swallow this pathetic excuse for the latest enormous MP pay rise?

Rolling in it: MP pay has increased by nearly one-third since 2010, while the rest of us have become thousands of pounds worse-off, in real terms, because of austerity restrictions imposed by Boris Johnson and Tory prime ministers before him.

We’ve had some daft excuses for MPs’ pay rises before now but this one takes the biscuit: they’ll have £2,212 extra from the beginning of April because their responsibilities are said to have “dramatically increased”!

What utter dribble.

MPs’ pay will increase to £84,144 (for backbenchers) – a rise of almost £20,000 from the £65,738 they were getting when the Tories slithered into office by the back door in 2010.

The rise is being represented by the so-called Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which was established in 2009 after that year’s infamous scandal over the expenses claimed by MPs.

In 2015, IPSA recommended a massive 10.9 per cent salary hike for MPs – to £74,000, justifying it by saying it would be offset by new tougher rules on parliamentary expenses, higher pensions contributions and the end of pay-offs to MPs who retire or voluntarily step down.

David Cameron was prime minister at the time. He said it was “simply unacceptable” – right up until his backbenchers decided they wanted to grab as much cash as they possibly could and threatened to rebel.

Amid public outcry, 69 MPs later said they would give the amount of their pay rise to charity – but research by The Sun (of all places) subsequently revealed that only 26 actually did so. The other two-thirds, it seems, only paid lip-service to the idea.

In April 2016 IPSA lined up a 1.3 per cent pay rise for MPs – more than three times the national average – to £74,962.

The following year saw an increase of 1.4 per cent to £76,011. The reason in both cases was said to be the annual change in average weekly earnings across the public sector.

How odd, when most public sector workers had been subjected to austerity restrictions since 2010 and hadn’t had a pay increase at all!

And, of course, the comparison would have required parity between MPs’ working conditions and those of public sector workers, meaning nurses, teachers and so on could enjoy the same rules on working hours, the same workers’ rights and make the same kind of expenses claims.

They don’t, so the claim is impossible to justify. But MPs had their £1000+ pay rise all the same.

In 2018, the pay rise had increased to 1.8 per cent, meaning MP salaries rose by £1,368 to £77,369. Again, there was no parity with the pay and conditions of other public sector workers, despite the rise being linked to any rise in their earnings.

By 2020, MPs’ pay was being increased by an inflation-busting 3.8 per cent to £81,932. I commented at the time that this was after the Tory government had created a massive increase in in-work poverty for the rest of us; eight million working-age people, 60 per cent of whom had jobs.

Oh, and MPs were also awarded increased expenses, to rub our noses in it still further.

Now IPSA has announced that MPs are to receive £2,212 extra in the financial year starting in April. And, like all the other excuses, the current claim isn’t being swallowed by the general public:

Yes indeed, especially as MP pay has been linked with theirs so often!

Some have made light of it with humour…

… but it is time to accept that IPSA doesn’t work.

MPs can’t go back to proposing – and voting on – their own pay rises because there simply wouldn’t be enough money to keep the current crop of greedy money-grubbers in cocaine (or whatever else they may choose to buy with it).

Personally, This Writer thinks MPs should be given a very massive pay cut.

The average salary in January this year was £29,600.

If the rest of us have to cope on that (and many of us have to manage on much less) then there’s no reason MPs can’t – and we all have to deal with increased pressures that the Tories in government have heaped on us.

Maybe the Tories would think differently about heaping extra costs like the 10+ per cent rise in National Insurance contributions and massively increased energy bills if they themselves have to cope with them in the same way we do.

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Embattled Tories kick down hard – they want to make benefit claimants suffer

Sanction centre: the Tories are giving unemployed Universal Credit claimants just four months to get a job in the sector they want before demanding that they take what they’re offered or face sanctions. But who will profit? The jobseeker – or the employer?

This Writer has never understood why working-class people vote for the Conservatives when the Tories always attack them.

This is especially true when the Tories are themselves under attack, so it should be no surprise to anybody that they are victimising benefit claimants again.

This time it is unemployed people on Universal Credit who are taking the brunt of the pain:

Unemployed workers will be forced to take up a job in any sector or face swift financial sanctions under a crackdown designed to fill hundreds of thousands of vacancies.

Claimants will be given just four weeks – down from three months – to find a job within their preferred sector. After that point, if they fail to make “reasonable efforts” to secure a job or turn down any offer, they will have part of their universal credit payment withdrawn.

The move, which is part of an initiative to get 500,000 people into work by June and fill 1.2m job vacancies nationally, comes as Boris Johnson seeks to reassert control over the political agenda amid the “partygate” crisis.

See? It’s a distraction tactic.

The important question is: how much do these jobs pay?

Unemployed people aren’t likely to care if they take a job in their preferred sector; the priority for anybody at times of hardship is to get one that pays the bills.

And this is the problem.

The Conservatives have spent nearly 12 years, since they slithered back into office in 2010, pushing wages down – so the average is now thousands of pounds less than it used to be (in real terms).

And people are struggling.

Do these 1.2 million new jobs pay a living wage?

Or will anybody taking them still be claiming Universal Credit, simply to survive?

That’s a government subsidy for employers, of course – not a benefit for the employee.

It’s not acceptable and, as the government, the Tories should be ensuring that it doesn’t happen.

But they won’t, because they haven’t bothered at any other time since May 2010.

The remarkable thing is that, knowing the Tories are victimising the electorate, voters still send them back to Parliament. In the name of all that’s sane, why?

Do middle-class voters really think that these punitive moves against vulnerable people are saving the rest of us from supporting scroungers, benefit cheats, and people who are just too lazy to work?

Do working-class voters – the ones this police attacks – really think a Tory government provides an opportunity for them to become billionaires, by hard work and struggle? Has it not occurred to them that they work much harder than those people and still get nowhere because the system is stacked against them?

People need to think about what Tory policies actually do – and ignore the propaganda. Then they need to vote accordingly.

Source: Universal credit claimants face tough sanctions in UK job crackdown | Benefits | The Guardian

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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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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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Now nurses are being told many would envy their job security – by a HEREDITARY PEER

This is the reason some fascist put the above – unacceptable – query to the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday (March 11), it seems:

Tory Lord Bethell said it was reasonable to saddle nurses with a below-inflation pay rise (a de facto pay cut) because they have “secure jobs” that many would “envy”.

If that’s true, then why are there 80,000 job vacancies in the NHS? Could it possibly be because they are subjected to a huge amount of stress – more than the vast majority of other jobs – and aren’t paid enough to be able to cover their bills and the weekly grocery shop?

I think it could.

Meanwhile, let’s look at Bethell himself.

He’s a hereditary peer – a member of the House of Lords who receives more than £300 per day, just to turn up. He could spend the whole day asleep and he would still receive that payment.

Because the 1999 House of Lords Act removed all but 92 hereditary peers, he did not have an automatic right to sit in the Lords but gained it in 2018 after a vacancy arose due to death, retirement, resignation or exclusion (I don’t care which).

He was chosen by a group of current Tory hereditary peers, from an official list of aristocrats, who are overwhelmingly men, and won the by-election with 26 votes from a total electorate of 47.

So much for democracy.

Bethell said:

“There are millions of people out of work out of the back of this pandemic.

“There are lots of people who have had an extremely tough time and who face a period of unemployment. Nurses are well-paid for the job. They have a secure job and they have other benefits.

“There are many people in this country who look upon professional jobs within the NHS with some envy and we shouldn’t forget the fact that some public sector jobs are, in fact, extremely well-paid.”

Perhaps he hasn’t noticed, but many of the employment problems have been caused, not by the pandemic itself so much as by his party’s cack-handed handling of it.

Of course it can’t be argued that some public sector jobs are indeed extremely well-paid – Bethell would know because he has one of them.

But nursing isn’t on that select list.

Oh, and here‘s another damning fact about Bethell: he tried to blame poor people for their own deaths from Covid-19, on the grounds that they died because of their own poor decisions.

He said there were “behavioural reasons” for these deaths, listing “the decisions that people make about social distancing, about their own health decisions” – all of which were influenced by his Tory government’s messages!

Source: Tory hereditary peer says nurses have job security that many would ‘envy’ – Mirror Online

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‘No ceiling’ promise for Welsh NHS pay rise – but how much will nurses actually get?

It will be interesting to see what pay rise Welsh NHS staff get, in the end.

The Welsh Government might not have said there is a ceiling on the amount it will pay NHS workers here, but that doesn’t mean Vaughan Gething doesn’t have one in mind.

There is no magic money tree for the Welsh Government; no Bank of Wales to create cash out of nowhere to pay for policy objectives.

The Welsh Government has to rely on the grant doled out to it by the Tories in Westminster, who very obviously restricted that cash a few years ago in order to prevent Wales from looking more generous to its health workers than England.

There are limited powers of taxation, too.

It’s clear that the Welsh Government – the Labour-run Welsh Government – can smell a propaganda victory over the Tories here, whose meagre one per cent offer is in fact a pay cut, as inflation is currently 1.5-1.8 per cent.

But I doubt they will be willing to sacrifice any hard-won fiscal credibility.

Also, of course, any decision will take into account the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

I would be astonished if it supported the full 12.5 per cent rise demanded by the Royal College of Nurses.

But a significant rise could lead to an influx of staff and a surge in procedures, leading in turn to increased productivity in the Welsh workforce.

Remember, healthcare has a “multiplier” effect on the economy that the Tories ignore. A decent pay deal for Welsh NHS staff could make the consequences of that ideological difference embarrassingly clear.

So Gething has it all to play for.

Let’s hope he doesn’t fumble the ball.

Source: Welsh NHS: ‘No ceiling’ for possible pay rise, says minister – BBC News

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Johnson and Hancock are jeopardising Covid recovery by prioritising useless ‘Test and Trace’ over hardworking NHS staff

At breaking point: the UK’s National Health Service. The Tory government could make it better by paying NHS staff what they’re worth – but Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have spaffed billions on Dido Harding’s useless and lazy ‘Test and Trace’ white elephant instead.

It has been calculated that a one per cent pay rise for NHS staff will cost around £82 million per year, or 0.22 per cent of the £37 billion that has been spaffed on Test and Trace as run by Dido Harding.

The full 12.5 per cent pay rise for NHS staff would cost £1.025 billion – only 2.75 per cent of the spending on Test and Trace.

And Test and Trace has been useless. Employees notoriously spent their days doing nothing at all – and being paid £1,000 per day to do it, while NHS staff slaved in conditions that made them highly vulnerable to Covid-19 because the Tories couldn’t be bothered to secure PPE for them.

Many NHS staff are working overtime or using credit to afford essential bills, visiting food banks so they can eat, and struggling with both mental and physical health problems.

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s attitude seems to be, “So what? I’ve offered you one per cent, which is more than you thought you were going to get!”

He and other Tories have made false claims that nurses have actually received far more, already, than they’re saying.

But this is nonsense. The fact that they cannot afford to survive is clear evidence that they are not paid fairly.

Stunningly, Death Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended the one per cent pittance, saying it is

“what we think is affordable”

Could the UK have afforded the deaths of millions if those doctors, nurses and support staff had not been there to keep Covid victims alive? Of course not. Hancock was talking gibberish. He rarely does anything else.

This Site broke news of health professionals’ disgust at the lack of respect being shown to them on Thursday – before any of the mainstream news sites. At the time, strike action was being demanded by only one group – Nurses United UK.

Now strike calls are being taken up by the British Medical Association, Unite, the Royal Colleges of Nursing and Midwives and Unison.

And what if an NHS strike happens before Boris Johnson’s arbitrary deadline for reopening the UK economy – which is already looking shaky because health professionals are planning for another wave of Covid admissions in July?

All his plans will be dashed – because he decided to pay Dido Harding and her minions to sit on their fat backsides rather than supporting our hard-working NHS staff.

Source: NHS pay: More health unions join backlash against 1% pay rise – BBC News

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