The PM who cried wolf.

Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for a European Union summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels

David Cameron can thump the table, stamp his feet and shout all he likes …. he’s been caught out in a lie and now the pigeons have come home to roost!

When you have an (unelected) prime minister and a chancellor of the exchequer (who doesn’t even know his seven times table), who have manipulated and lied about the economy, they shouldn’t be surprised when they are forced to live up to their fiction.

The EU have asked the UK to pay £1.7 billion pounds because… the UK economy has improved.

If the economy HAD improved to the extent that CaMORON says it has, then this payment would not be too much of a problem.

There has indeed been an improvement in the economy, but only because of factors such as the money from activities such as drug use and prostitution being used to bolster the figures.

Prostitution and illegal drugs are contributing around £10 billion a year to the British economy, according to official data released last May (source ONS)

More than half of that – £5.3 billion – is attributable to prostitution, according to estimated figures from the Office for National Statistics. Illegal drugs are worth £4.4bn.

Britain has to pay. No ifs, no buts. The adjustment is “automatic”.

A bill for £1.7billion will sting at any time but the political price paid by Mr Cameron could be really eye watering for the Tories.

We all know CaMORON and Gidiot have lied about the real picture of the UK economy.

That is why Mark Carney (Governer of the Bank of England … I know he’s Canadian, mad isn’t it) has delayed any increase in the interest rates.

Originally, interest rates were set to rise when unemployment fell below 7.2%. Well, it’s below that now, so why no increase? Because, Mr Carney is not stupid, he knows that the unemployment figures are false, because he knows that people claiming JSA/ESA who are on workfare programmes are counted as employed when quite clearly they are not.

He knows that the slight improvement in the economy is not being felt by the likes of you and me, but is only felt by large multi million pound turnover companies who benefit from UK tax relief and contrived tax measures such as transfer pricing. These companies pay no or very little corporation tax to the treasury.

So, Mr CaMORON, you’ve been hoisted by your own petard and caught out in a lie; so do the decent thing and resign!

Posted in Economy, EU | Tagged , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

How to fix Britain’s broken workplaces

Reposted from the New Statesman

It’s time to introduce workplace citizenship to Britain’s employers. Photo: Getty

There’s something seriously wrong with the world of work, and not just in the places you would expect. We know that the UK is near the bottom of the EU low pay league and that those on low pay make up a fifth of the labour force (the same as in 1994, despite the introduction of the minimum wage). And, we know we are world leaders in zero-hours contracting and outsourcing.  But, the problems at work today are no longer confined to precarious employment. As the Smith Institute’s inquiry into Making Work Better shows, the majority of Britain’s workplaces are now broken and under-performing.

The inquiry’s 100-page report by Ed Sweeney, the former chair of Acas, documents a litany of employee concerns: falling real wages, insecurity, mistrust, skills under-utilisation and low levels of engagement. Workers in all types of jobs say they feel undervalued and over worked. They are also angry about excessive top pay and the way they are managed. Many employers are communicating, caring and investing in their staff. But, the gap between the rest and the best is widening.

Problems at work may be a blind spot for the government, but it’s undermining our productivity (which already lags well behind our competitors) and costing the taxpayer billions in terms of in-work benefits. The fact we have so many low paid, low skilled jobs in low value business is also holding back the recovery.

With so many people feeling short-changed at work there are potentially huge dividends for a party that champions not just more work, but ‘good work’. Promising a fairer and more prosperous society with greater opportunity for the many can’t be achieved with a government that ignores the benefits of social partnership and employee voice and fails to tackle worsening wage inequality and widespread mistreatment at work. International research quoted in the Sweeney report, for example, busts the myth that deregulated labour markets with fewer employment rights and a power imbalance tilted firmly in the employers favour leads to higher productivity and happier workers.

Moreover, there’s a compelling business case for making work better. Highly motived, empowered and engaged workers make for more successful organisations. Fear and anxiety at work are hardly the hallmarks of modern businesses. What is self-evident to the vast majority of people in work is that a top down “bosses know best”, “us and them” view of the world belongs to yesteryear.  It not only stifles both productivity and innovation, but creates mistrust between employee and employer.

A serious problem in many of our workplaces is not so much the lack of skills, but the poor way managers use the latent talent in their workforce. Innovation is not just about spreadsheets or tests in the science lab. Surprising as it may sound to some, employees often know the best way to undertake a task and may have insights into what is not functioning properly. Instead of using the skills and knowledge, workers in the long tail of poor performing companies are left feeling disengaged and disillusioned.

In many instances workers also feel insecure. Indeed, the race to the bottom on rights and voice is not just about the acute problems in troubled workplaces. According to a recent Smith Institute and TUC poll, half the workforce is fearful of loss of job status while a similar proportion feel anxious or worried about work. This is hardly a basis for building trust or encouraging employees to go the extra mile, let alone the foundations for a healthy one.  Studies by Professor Michael Marmot and others repeatedly show the harmful effects insecurity (and low pay) has on the health of the nation. Making those social costs more transparent and identifying and benchmarking the good employers can help, as can support for better management and HR training.

For some, the societal costs associated with insecurity and wages are just downsides to the unstoppable forces of globalisation and technological change. However, such ‘natural forces’ are not experienced in the same way in other countries. And, most low paid jobs are not subject to the pressures of international competition. Indeed, a telling conclusion from the Making Work Better report is that these inter-related problems at work (poor productivity, insecurity and inequality) are a consequence of a financial business model designed to pursue the low road on wages, skills, and employee involvement.  The fact that the government’s employment policies encourage this ‘race to the bottom’ is no coincidence, as its failed ‘shares for rights’ scheme illustrates.

There is an alternative which challenges some of the prevailing assumptions and sets out an alternative narrative on the labour market. It’s based on the concept that work gives us meaning; that productive work is achieved by colleagues working together; that success requires workers at all levels having a say over their work; and fair rewards and security require balanced power relationships at work.

Such a vision of workplace citizenship isn’t a fantasy, and there is much that government can do to ensure that employees do not surrender their rights as citizens at the point they cross their employer’s threshold. Government, for example, can do more to spread good practice and help create a level playing field so the best employers are not undercut on the basis on lower pay and poorer conditions. As the report suggest, government can become a Living Wage employer and use its power of procurement to lift people out of poverty pay. It can  also insist that companies disclose their pay ratios and support collective bargaining; clamp down on the abuse of zero hours contracts and bad agency work; reform the employment tribunal system to make it affordable and fit for purpose; improve the enforcement regimes for the minimum wage and equal opportunities; ensure that a two tier workforce doesn’t emerge when services are contracted out; extend childcare and improve eldercare; and simplify and amend the existing Information and Consultation Regulations to give employees a stronger collective voice.

Improving the world of work will of course rely on decisions and circumstances of individual employers and employees (and trade unions). But government can take a lead and advocate a culture of cooperation and consultation. The prize is not just a better deal for employees and more productive organisations, but a better deal for government.

Paul Hunter is head of research at the Smith Institute

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The graph you won’t see in the Mail. Or the Times. Or the Sun

Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(not satire – it’s the UK today)

Here’s a graph which shows the genius of George Osborne.

Despite cutting money for schools, hospitals, fire services, policing, armed forces, legal aid, housing, disability benefits etc, he has still managed to borrow a huge amount more than Labour ever did:

net borrowing

.

The question is – what the f*ck is George doing with all that money he’s borrowed?

Because he sure as hell isn’t spending it on schools and hospitals.

Although to be fair, I suppose all those tax breaks for the rich have to come out of somewhere.

.

Please feel free to comment. And share. Thanks:

View original

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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

thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady:

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:

lord-fraud-freud

“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…

View original 440 more words

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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.

 

18 comments

  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 gov.uk 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 us..no 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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