Real Britain Index shows effect of pay cuts

Reposted from Public & Commercial Services (PCS) website

Nothing we didn’t already know, despite the lies the tories try and feed us!

New cost of living figures – The Real Britain Index – reveal the real effect of pay cuts by looking at how inflation affects different income groups.

The index, which will be updated monthly, launched this week by the New Economics Foundation, will be published coincide with the Office for National Statistics inflation index. It shows the poorest in society are hit hardest by the spiralling cost of food, clothing, energy and housing. It also reveals civil servants on median pay face a true inflation rate of 2.36%, while the government’s preferred Consumer Prices Index was at 1.2% for September.

PCS is a sponsor, as is the TUCG and Unite.

The analysis shows official inflation figures have underestimated the decline in UK living standards:

  • True impact of inflation on poorest 50% understated by official measures
  • Richest receive “inflation bonus” because they spend less on essentials
  • Poorest in society see incomes after inflation fall by 14.5% in a single year
  • Return to rising incomes over last year for richest 10%.

The RBI website, created by the team behind the False Economy andMyDavidCameron websites, shows how official inflation figures mask the real impact of rising prices.  It has already gained significant media interest this week in:

The index shows, for example, that since 2006, the UK’s poorest people have faced the biggest price rises:

  • Poorest 10% – prices up 32%
  • RBI average – prices up 28%
  • Richest 10% – prices up 27%
  • CPI – prices up 26%
  • Food prices up 40%
  • Housing prices up 15%
  • Energy prices up 73%.


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Disabled People Not Worth Minimum Wage Says Lord Fraud, Time For This Nasty Fucking Clown To Go


Couldn’t have put it better myself … well said Johnny Void.
Allowing this piece of shite to have anything to do with disabled people would be like putting a fox in charge of a chicken coop … he needs to go NOW!

Originally posted on the void:


“Nearly everything I’ve done has been total chaos.”

Comedy toff and Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Fraud stopped being funny a long time ago.  Of all the blundering fucking idiots in the DWP, this failed banker, who cost investors millions due to a series of bungled deals, has shown the true face of the out of touch gilded elite that dominate all of the main political parties.

This is the man who thinks people queue up in foodbanks just for a laugh and not because they are hungry.  The same prick who threatened every Women’s Refuge in the country with closure and wanted to charge the very poorest benefit claimants to have banks manage ther personal finances.  The clown who doesn’t even know how much the dole actually pays despite being in charge of reforming it.

His recent comments at the Tory Party Conference, where he agreed…

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Strike action on Wednesday 15 October 2014

Today PCS workers are on strike for fair pay. 

I have posted a blog here from a senior civil servant, giving his view of the strike; it’s worth reading (not for the drivel he spouts, but for the comments at the end)

Nobody likes going on strike, staff lose a days pay after all, but when you have an employer who thinks there is nothing wrong with your annual pay rate in 2009 being the same as your annual pay rate in 2014, whilst they cut back on staff and close down enquiry centres and post rooms and bills continue to rise, then enough really is enough.

My payslip from 2009 shows my annual rate is unchanged. Shame my bills haven’t stayed the same too! ‘Non consolidated’ is NOT a pay rise!  (facebook comment from PCS member)

This government treat ALL people with contempt, not only those in work (Fire service/nurses and midwives for example) but also the disabled, ill and unemployed.

Public service – two words that define the Civil Service. It offers a sense of fulfilment, and responsibility, that few other organisations can match. It is what attracts hundreds of people – including some of the country’s brightest graduates and apprentices – to join our ranks every year and it’s what motivates all of us to do the best job we can. Whether processing tax returns at Longbenton, issuing driving licences in Swansea, or working with young offenders in Lancaster, everything we do matters because we deliver the services that people rely on.

Over the past few years our country has faced massive challenges, particularly as a result of the economic downturn. But today, the deficit has been reduced by half, the UK is enjoying faster growth than any other major economy, and unemployment continues to fall. The Civil Service can take credit for helping the Government to deliver this improving outlook. But we can also be proud that we have grasped the opportunity to go further, by fully embracing the spirit of reform and committing ourselves to find new ways of working.

We have still got lots to do, but the Civil Service is stronger, more capable and more efficient than ever before. In doing this, we are demonstrating to the public that the Civil Service can innovate and adapt in order to deliver more and better services for less money.

On Wednesday the PCS union, which represents some civil servants, will go on strike.

While it is of course a matter for individual PCS members to decide whether or not to support this strike, I hope they will consider carefully the impact that not turning up to work has on the services they deliver, their colleagues and the overall reputation of the Civil Service. They should also consider the impact on neighbours, friends and communities, who must contend with the disruption that strikes can cause.

We all recognise of course that the pay restraint of the past few years has been tough, but with the economy 15% smaller on a permanent basis than was projected before the recession, action to reduce costs in the Civil Service was necessary. Without the difficult decisions to pay and pensions, headcount reductions would have had to have been far more severe. It’s also important to remember that the Civil Service as a whole still enjoys terms and conditions on a par with the best employers.

I think most people understand this, and I have no doubt that the vast majority of civil servants will be at work on Wednesday doing what they do best – delivering first class public services.



  1. Poor and miserable — 14/10/2014

    MPS to get a 10% payrise. Civil servants on less than £17,000 a year got absolutely nothing this year, meaning in effect a pay cut.

    I’ll say no more

    Link to this commentReply

  2. Lord Idwal — 14/10/2014

    Dear Sir Jeremy
    Why are you acting as a Tory apologist? Whatever happened to civil service neutrality? As someone who earns £200,000 a year, rather than lecture your low paid employees, why don’t you do something useful for once and help to resolve the dispute!

    Link to this commentReply

  3. broke and cold — 14/10/2014

    Dear Civil Service leaders, how about sticking up for your staff for once? After all “the only obeying orders” of the government has got others in to trouble in the past.

    Link to this commentReply

  4. David — 14/10/2014

    What an absolutely appalling commentary from a supposedly senior leader in the civil service. The most worrying part of it is not the lack of impartiality, but the seeming utter lack of understanding about the events he discusses. An insulting attempt to rewrite history. He should go for this, he really should.

    Link to this commentReply

  5. Barry faulkner — 14/10/2014

    When I was a civil servant, senior civil servants remained silent on political matters yet this mandarin has seen fit to advise low paid workers what is best for them, the term Tory party apologist doesn’t even touch, this guy is clearly a card carrying member. Disgraceful behaviour for a civil servant in his position

    Link to this commentReply

  6. Gary Sharpe — 14/10/2014

    I will seriously consider this individuals statement when he can give me a justifiable, reasonable and even partially acceptable reason for using the argument of “it was decided by an independent body” when refusing to argue against the MP’s payrise and then refuse to give the NHS workers a 1% payrise even though it was the decision of “an independent body” to award it! Who do I think should get the rise? Now let me see….. a robbing thieving scumbag who is only out to line his own pocket or an NHS worker who works all of the hours that God sends to make sure that everybody regardless of race, creed, colour or kind has the same opportunity to stay healthy? Wow, that is a hard one, good job we have an independent body to decide for us. Me, I will be mulling the quandary over whilst stood on the picket line tomorrow in spite of the Unite and Unison scabs pulling out!

    Link to this commentReply

  7. Jane Smith — 14/10/2014

    What absolute rubbish. Most civil servants will be on strike in order to DEFEND the public service they provide against pompous suits and the public sector cuts to staff and services they love to make on behalf of their rich mates.

    Tell this rubbish to the nurses who are striking, the lawyers who struck, even the damn police had a big march. None of you has a clue what public service is, and how could you? Like Bob Kerslake you’ll all be out one day and your private sector mates will be taking you in (not before you get the golden goodbye!).

    You think any of us get that?

    Link to this commentReply

  8. Riri — 14/10/2014

    Highly paid senior civil servants in the pockets of this rich Tory governmnet as usual. Impartiality within the civil service is a joke when you blog something like this. I hope every last member of the PCS union joins the strike on Wednesday.

    Link to this commentReply

  9. Krogstad Ibsen — 14/10/2014

    “with the economy 15% smaller on a permanent basis than was projected before the recession, action to reduce costs in the Civil Service was necessary.”
    So it’s possible to be Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service without any understanding of basic Keynesian economics – Recessions are times to increase spending to boost the economy

    “It’s also important to remember that the Civil Service as a whole still enjoys terms and conditions on a par with the best employers.”
    So instead of trying to improve terms and conditions for all workers in the UK, PCS members should just be thankful that they are not worse off.

    I think there was a mistake in your last paragraph; it should read:
    “I think most people understand this, and I have no doubt that the vast majority of Cabinet Secretaries will be at work on Wednesday doing what they do best – delivering first class grovelling to those who hand out cushy places in the House of Lords (it’s important to have a pension plan).”

    Link to this commentReply

  10. Iain R — 14/10/2014

    Obsequious and patronising just the kind of nonsense I have come to expect from upper management. Don’t play on our morals when clearly you have none.

    Link to this commentReply

  11. Algernon Cleasby — 14/10/2014

    All the way through the Civil Service we spend our days at the front line working with a knife permanently pushed in our backs from above – where else would a boss slag off the majority of their staff and STILL expect them to work hard and with a positive attitude.

    This article is politically biased and you should be ashamed of yourself! Clearly your political masters have paid every penny wisely if this is how you defend the staff you are meant to protect!

    Link to this commentReply

  12. A Williams — 14/10/2014

    Using to further your politically insensitive comments is disgraceful. Staff cannot afford to live on the salaries now provided. Strike action is ALWAYS the last resort. Maybe YOU should listen to the majority of staff who are grossly underpaid for their hard work.

    Link to this commentReply

  13. B. Low-Inflation — 14/10/2014

    Since you have taken over as Head of the Civil Service, I have admired your willingness to put your head on the block Sir Jeremy, regarding many of the important issues that affect the Civil Service. However in the interests of inpartiality this is a blog too far.
    Like many other civil servants I would just like to be paid enough not to have to claim the benefits we administer.
    You have made up one employees mind on what he is going to do tomorrow.

    Link to this commentReply

  14. stiofian riordrain — 14/10/2014

    tax cuts and fat bonuses for the rich like yourself, pay cuts and higher bills for the rest of wonder which side you are on

    Link to this commentReply

  15. Coch Cymru — 14/10/2014

    Strike action is always a last resort, after all strikers don’t get paid for their absence. To me this says that this is a serious issue that people fell strongly about. Perhaps Sir Jeremy you should listen more carefully to what civil servants are saying, because even those who don’t strike are not happy about having what amounts to a pay cut.

    Link to this commentReply

  16. NJP — 14/10/2014

    To say that “the vast majority of civil servants will be at work on Wednesday” is speculative at best and unlikely to be fact. The Employee Relations Framework says that Civil Servants are encouraged to be union members. Surely they cannot then complain when we exercise our democratic and legal right to strike?

    Link to this commentReply

  17. Disgruntled civil servant — 14/10/2014

    So we have to accept not just year after year of cuts to our pay in real terms, but also slashing our pension, terms & conditions and introducing a new performance management system which is crushing morale.

    But we should accept this out of pride? Not only this, but face indefinite pay cuts and attacks on our jobs? Where will it end, given that we’re facing at least another few years of 1%?

    You leave many CS no choice but to take action to defend our livelihoods

    Link to this commentReply

  18. Mary Hibbs — 14/10/2014

    Whatever happened to impartiality? And you wonder why there’s a complete lack of engagement with your staff? Disgraceful.


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Tax reconciliation errors affect ‘thousands’

Reposted from Accounting Web

Oh dear…Real Time Information (RTI) the basta*d son of Universal Credit seems to be just as much of a balls up!

HMRC has “stopped” issuing income tax repayments after a leaked email revealed that end of year tax reconciliations for thousands of taxpayers may have been calculated wrongly, the Telegraph reported this morning. An HMRC spokesman told AccountingWEB that the process is “continuing as normal”. But the email, now reproduced below, said that some large employers were involved “so several thousands of employees may be affected”.

Elaine Clark, who runs the tax practice Cheap Accounting, said she understood that repayments for 2013/14 had been halted. “This concerns me enormously given that RTI was meant to correct all evils, all payroll information would be up to date and everyone would be paying the right tax. How can we get reconciliation errors? There has to be something in the system,” she said.

Employers had invested time and effort in RTI and were putting good data into the system. “At what point does that go wrong?” She added: “HMRC needs to step up to the plate very, very quickly and find out what the problem is.”

The Telegraph reported that “HMRC said tens of thousands would ultimately be affected but admitted it currently had no idea about the scale of problem”.

It added that a spokesman for HMRC said the incorrect letters were not demands but merely tax summaries, and that “no one has been asked to hand a penny over in tax because of this”.

HMRC told AccountingWEB: “The majority of the errors have happened because an employer failed to make a final payment statement for the 2013/14 tax year meaning our records were incomplete despite reminders that these submissions had to be made. We are sorry this has happened and we will  issue corrected calculations in the next few weeks.”

HMRC note to stakeholders

[Update at 13.45] HMRC has provided a copy of the note sent to stakeholders including employers, professional bodies and business groups. It is reproduced in full below.

“We are today emailing our stakeholders to explain that we are aware that a number of employees recently received a form 2013-14 P800 which was issued during our bulk 2013-14 End of Year reconciliation exercise.

“The 2013-14 P800 shows an incorrect overpayment or underpayment where the pay and tax shown on the P800 is incorrect and does not match that shown on their 2013-14 P60.

“The most common scenarios are where:

  • An incorrect overpayment is created as the 2013-14 reconciliation is based upon the Full Payment Submission (FPS) up to month 11 although the employment continued all year.
  • Where the year to date figures supplied are incorrect, for example where an employer reference changed in-year and the previous pay and tax is incorrectly included in the “year to date” (YTD) totals.
  • We have received an “Earlier Year Update” (EYU) and this is yet to be processed to the account.
  • There is a duplicate employment (often caused by differences in works numbers and other changes throughout the year)

“We are urgently investigating these cases and will look to resolve the matter in the next 6-8 weeks.

“We currently do not know the scale of the issue, but some large employers are involved, so several thousands of employees may be affected.

“Next Steps

“We are very sorry that some customers will receive an incorrect 2013-14 P800 tax calculation.

“We are urgently investigating these cases and will look to resolve the matter and issue a revised P800 to the employee in the next 6-8 weeks.

“Employers and their agents should not send any 2013-14 EYUs unless requested by us. We are aware that there are still some 2013-14 EYUs which we have yet to process to the relevant account.

“If an employee asks about a 2013-14 P800 which they think is incorrect, they should advise them:

  • Not to repay any underpayment shown on the P800
  • Not to cash any payable order they may have received
  • Employees will not be affected by the incorrect tax code as we will issue a revised P800 before Annual Coding.”
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The Sun and Daily Mail Human Rights facepalm!

Reposted from the Huffington Post

Long article from The Huffington Post, but well worth the read. Made me laugh…hope it brings a wry smile to your face too.

The Sun has been left red-faced after calling for the abolition of the Human Rights Act – only to have to rely on it just days later to protect its journalists.

The tabloid has launched legal action against the Metropolitan Police after officers seized the phone records of political editor Tom Newton Dunn to identify his anonymous police source who tipped him off about the Plebgate scandal.

Britain’s biggest selling daily will take the force to the Investigative Powers Tribunal to challenge the seizure and will use the Human Rights Act (HRA) to argue its case.

This is at odds with the position the paper took last week, when it rapturously applauded David Cameron, who said a Tory majority government would ditch the act, which was described by the paper “hated” and is enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights and used in UK courts.

the sun cameronThe Sun’s headline last week, in which it referred to the HRA as ‘hated’

A spokesman for the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper confirmed to The Huffington Post UK that The Sun would use the HRA in its case before the Investigative Powers Tribunal. The appeals body monitors the use of the Regulatory Investigative Powers Act (Ripa) which police used to seize the records.

He said: “The Sun is using the Human Rights Act in our submission to the Investigative Powers Tribunal as it is the primary source on which to base our petition under the law as it is now.

“However, it is notable that the use of covert powers to access The Sun’s phone records occurred despite the existence of the HRA, and we therefore continue to support its replacement with a British Bill of Rights that would enshrine proper protections for journalistic sources.”

The paper did not state which part of the HRA it would use, though it would likely be Article Eight, which protects the right to privacy.

Ironically, The Sun’s stories about the abolition of the HRA were written by Mr Newton Dunn, whose phone records were seized by the Met.

One described the act as “deeply discredited” and said The Tories’ plans would “end decades of human rights laws abuse once and for all”.

the sun human rightsThe Sun ran this graphic showing its support for putting the HRA in ‘the dustbin of history’

After the paper reported it was taking the legal action, many on Twitter noticed the irony of opposing the HRA one week and using it defend itself the next.

Barrister Harriet Johnson tweeted: “The Sun complains about its calls being tapped by police; simultaneously supports end to #HumanRights Act #Facepalm”.

Media law analyst David Banks told HuffPost UK that the Sun’s claim that the HRA’s failure to prevent the seizure of phone records demonstrated the need to abolish it “defied logic”.

“The HRA is a law that can be broken like any other, and the cops might have broken it here,” he said.

Charon QC, the legal blogger who writes under psuedonym, tweeted: “One can only marvel at The Sun… I am marvelling away!”
Ms Johnson, who practices with Doughty Street chambers, wrote that binning the HRA could have consequences for everyone.

“Repealing the Human Rights Act is being sold as a common sense thing to do, as if we were giving up something we never used anyway,” she wrote after the Tories made their announcement.

“The Conservative Party are not saying to white, middle-class, educated voters: ‘we want to tap your phones’.

“They have couched their policy in terms designed to make the country think this only applies to Other People, to those who are damaging ‘society as a whole’.

“But repealing the Human Rights Act, and withdrawing from the (European Human Rights) Convention, doesn’t happen one right at a time, or on a person-by-person basis. If it happens, it happens to us all.”

Speaking about The Sun’s Ripa case, she told HuffPost UK: “It is interesting to note their argument that because this alleged breach has happened while the HRA was in force, it somehow supports the argument for repealing it – rather than the argument for keeping it.

“That’s like having your wallet stolen and saying ‘criminal laws are clearly useless, let’s repeal them…’.

“Some might argue the answer isn’t to repeal the law, it’s to enforce it – as The Sun is doing by relying on HRA as part of their complaint against the police.”

10 Worrying Things About The Tories’ Human Rights Proposals By Jessica Elgot

  • 1
    The proposals says that the ECHR banned whole-life tariffs for prisoners, but they didn’t
    Fiona Hanson/PA Archive
    Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, called it a “howler” based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Strasbourg ruling, and that UK sentencing laws had been found to be “totally compatible”. Adam Wagner, human rights barrister from 1 Crown Office Row, called it a “major factual error”.
  • 2
    It’s very unlikely the UK could be granted special status to have the Strasbourg court as a mere ‘advisory’ body
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    In practice, these proposals pretty much mean leaving the European Convention of Human Rights, lawyers say, leaving us in the company of Belarus and Kazakhstan. Russia, Azerbaijahn and Ukraine are just some of the countries that would have more watertight human rights protection than the UK.
  • 3
    If we want special treatment from the ECHR, then won’t other countries want it too?
    Legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg points out that “if Westminster has a veto on Strasbourg’s decisions, the parliaments of Russia, Ukraine and other countries will want one too, making compliance with court rulings voluntary would undermine the entire convention system.”
  • 4
    The proposals “limit the use of human rights laws to the most serious cases…ensuring UK courts strike out trivial cases.”
    peterspiro via Getty Images
    There doesn’t seem to be any real clarification about what that will mean, leaving judges scratching their heads.
  • 5
    One of the proposals actually means we are more tightly legally bound to the Strasbourg court than we are already
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    The document says “every judgement that UK law is incompatible with the Convention will be treated as advisory and we will introduce a new Parliamentary procedure to formally consider the judgement. It will only be binding in UK law if Parliament agrees that it should be enacted as such.” Carl Gardner points out in his Head of Legal blog that “this proposal puts more human rights obligations on Parliament than it has under the Human Rights Act. There is currently no legal duty on Parliament to consider any Strasbourg judgment. The Conservatives plan would oblige it to for the very first time.”
  • 6
    Grayling has forgotten to mention how this would work under the Good Friday agreement with Northern Ireland or with Scottish devolution
    Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images
    It is a requirement under the Good Friday agreement that ultimately people in NI can take cases to the ECHR. Chris Grayling has just written a paper which makes no reference to this issue or how it can be solved, except saying ‘We will work with the devolved administrations and legislatures as necessary to make sure there is an effective new settlement across the UK’. Westminster could change the law for both countries, but there’s been no consultation and no reference to it in this paper, and it’s likely Scotland would seek to devolve it. If Scotland or NI want to stay linked to the ECHR, then we could end up with a “patchwork” of different human rights laws across the United Kingdom.
  • 7
    British judges are now likely to find more UK legislation is incompatible with human rights, not fewer
    Lewis Whyld/PA Archive
    The new proposals say the Tories will “prevent our laws from being effectively re-written through ‘interpretation’ of Strasborg case law.”
    “I don’t think this has been thought through,” Gardner writes on Head of Legal. “If judges think old housing legislation discriminates against a gay tenant, they can rule that it is no longer to be read as permitting the discrimination.
    “But if that option is barred, they will in case like that have no option but to declare the legislation incompatible with human rights in principle.
    The result, surely, will be more headlines about judges condemning Parliament for breaching human rights, not fewer.”
  • 8
    The proposals mean we don’t have to worry as much about sending people off to be tortured
    Cristian Baitg via Getty Images
    The “real risk” test used to determine whether someone is at risk of torture on deportation will be “ line with our commitment to prevent torture and in keeping with the approach taken by other developed nations”. “If there is evidence that an individual faces a real risk of torture on return, should the UK seriously be seeking shortcuts?” asks Angela Patrick is the Director of Human Rights Policy at JUSTICE.
  • 9
    It would take an enormous amount of time, effort and consultation to end up with basically the same thing we have already
    Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
    No one thinks we should scrap laws against, say, slavery, or free speech, or the right to protest. So the new “Bill of Rights” would be 99% a carbon copy of what we already have, only enforced by British judges, several legal commentators have pointed out. Unless we scrap human rights altogether.
  • 10
    The proposal doesn’t even spell “judgment” in the correct legal way
    JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images
    Gardner points out that this means the proposal probably wasn’t drafted by lawyers, at least in parts.
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Say no to workfare in HMRC

Originally posted on Your Voice:

work-fare211Following small scale pilots between May and July, HMRC is now rolling out the Movement to Work programme across the department. This scheme is just one incarnation of the workfare schemes the government is using to force claimants into unpaid work and needs to be opposed.

The scheme is specifically aimed at young people between the ages of 18 and 24, and sees them put to work for their Job Seekers’ Allowance for 4-6 weeks. There is an official target of providing job opportunities for 50% of participants, and the scheme is sold as an ‘opportunity to develop employability skills.’ However, as with all workfare, the hype and the reality are worlds apart.

All workfare schemes operate on the basis that claimants must perform certain work activities in order to ‘earn’ their benefits. As well as undermining the basic concept of social security by marking benefits out as something that…

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The Tory pre-paid punishment and anti-welfare card. Again

Originally posted on Politics and Insights - kittysjones :

Iain Duncan Smith told delegates at the Tory conference in Birmingham: “I have long believed that where parents have fallen into a damaging spiral – drug or alcohol addiction, even problem debt, or more – we need to find ways to safeguard them – and more importantly, their families, their children, ensuring their basic needs are met.

Benefits paid should go to support the well-being of families, not “to feed their destructive habits”.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith proposed that a “smartcard” scheme would see benefit payments loaded onto prepaid cash cards, and that transactions would be automatically stopped if people tried to buy anything on them but essentials. Again.

Smart Cardsentered our collective consciousness during autumn 2012, as Iain Duncan Smith declared his intention to attempt to discipline Britain’s “troubled” families. In unveiling his proposals at the Conservative Conference  back in October  2012, Duncan Smith…

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