On 30 Nov 2011 at 12:11am drone wrote:
Good luck to all those Lewes people taking strike action today in defence of pensions. Special respect to those who will be standing on the picket lines and attending marches & rallies later in the day. The fight goes on.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 2:08am expat two wrote:
On 30 Nov 2011 at 3:44am Stig wrote:
And thirded, even more so after Osborne's vicious Autumn statement.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 4:13am Expat two wrote:
Georgey Porgey, pudding and pie,
Touched the economy and caused it to die.
When the pigeons came home to roost,
Georgey Porgey retired to his baronial estates to take up several non-executive directorships at City banks.
not mine, alas, but worth reposting
On 30 Nov 2011 at 8:05am Striker wrote:
Osborne predicting 710,000 state jobs set to go yesterday was just so deliberately confrontational.
Changes will cost me £48000 according to the Treasury‚??s own calculator and mean I have to work seven years longer. Can anyone really say this is reasonable?
On 30 Nov 2011 at 8:31am coop wrote:
Get back to work and earn your pay and your pensions you money for nothing hunters. You make me sick!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 8:33am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'm sure PN will be along in a minute just to let you know how reasonable that is.
I wish everyone all the best too, and will be with you in spirit. Sadly, I'm in that grey area where the work is funded publicly but our employer is a charity. I was tempted to take leave, but one of my clients has a repossession hearing today and I need to support her at it.
Anyone who relies on public services or works with people who do knows all too well what these dreadful cuts mean in terms of human misery. And who really wants a knackered 66 year old who's been working for 45 years solid teaching their kids, nursing their mum or trying to catch criminals?
On 30 Nov 2011 at 8:36am Private Sector Worker wrote:
It's about time you lot took a reality check. You been living in tax payer funded cloud cuckoo land for too long. Selfish tw@ts!!!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 8:49am DFL wrote:
It still amazes me that NOTHING has been done to curb BANKERS' GREED !! But sticking the knife into low paid workers seems to be OK - am I on the wrong planet or something ??
Strike, strike, strike, let's get rid of this greedy, uncaring, tory government !!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 8:51am self employed wrote:
GET OVER IT ! no sick pay , no extra xmas shopping days , no bank holidays , no pension , no support , and if you try to claim when theres no work , you are told you have done this to yourself . think on today from your ivory towers , and im still self employed and woudlnt change it . i just cut my cloth accordingly .
On 30 Nov 2011 at 9:10am someone else wrote:
As a private sector worker with lousy pension provision, I'd just like to offer the strikers my full support.
The fact that we live in a country with pretty poor private sector pension provision is no argument for a 'race to the bottom' for the public sector, too.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 9:25am Well done! wrote:
Well, what has the strike achieved so far?
The Government are so pissed off with the union stance they have raised the pension age a full decade early.
They have also capped the public sector pay rises at 1% for the foreseeable future
Public support for the private sector, away from all the Emporers new clothes mob is very low as all of us in the private sector are really suffering with far reduced pensions.
It makes me laugh really, you won't win - there's simply no money and I will never forgive any striker for your actions meaning that as of yesterday, I have to work another year.
So go f**k yourselves, basically
On 30 Nov 2011 at 9:46am DFL wrote:
Language perleaseee !!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 9:53am Angry wrote:
Why does everyone feel so sorry for themselves? Just "get on your bike" like dear old Norman once said. When I started work my seniors were retiring at 50. I watched them leave with a large lump sum and a generous annual pension. Of course I wanted the same and that remained my plan until a few years ago when reality kicked in. I now expect to be working until at least 65 despite bunging as much into my pension pot as I can possibly afford.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 10:15am Captain sensible wrote:
Carry on public sector 'workers', you are doing a grand job at taking your own world apart.
Less money, less workers, the next thing you need to do is reduce all the sickies that you take off. You are doing doing just what was expected of you...........downsizing.
When all the baggage has been removed from the system it will be easier to privatise and provide more efficient, cost effective services,
and then we will all be winners!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 10:19am Clifford wrote:
Angry, when the unemployed in the North East (11.6% this month) get on their bikes to work in the South East (6.3% this month), where do you think they'll find the live?
On 30 Nov 2011 at 10:22am Clifford wrote:
Captain Sensible - You're right, we've seen some excellent results from privatising the public sector - gas, water, electricity, the railways (where the taxpayers have to pay a higher subsidy than when we owned the business AND pay vastly higher fares). I'm sure you're going to enjoy paying a private business to pay for your health care, your children's education, and your private security guard.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 10:35am Captain sensible(ret) wrote:
Already do Clifford, in addition to paying taxes to support the failing Public sector's efforts.
Don't employ a private security guard though; I didn't find your ramble that threatening.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 11:02am Ed Can Do wrote:
Whilst I agree that the burden of recovering the economy does seem to be falling particularly hard on those of us who work for a living and don't earn much doing it, I find it very hard to sympathise with a lot of the people striking today.
Teachers for example seem not to realise how easy they have it. Average salary for a teacher is over £30,000, they get 10 weeks off a year and it's all but impossible to sack a teacher for being rubbish at their job. Add a still very generous after the cuts pension on top of that and the job looks more and more appealing by the minute which I guess is why so many people choose it as a career if they can't think what else to do.
I keep hearing on the news about the public sector dinner ladies that are going to be worst hit but there's pretty much no such thing anymore, virtually every school inthe country sub-contracts its lunch services out to private firms, whose dinner ladies get no pension at all half the time. Likewise cleaners, porters and increasingly admin staff are sub-contracted private sector staff.
It just seems to me that by refusing point blank to accept any reduction in their remuneration and living standards, the public sector unions are marching steadily towards a point where the government just goes bust and they'll all be completely unemployed. It's all well and good saying why not tax the bankers etc but the fact is, banks don't need a physical presence in a country to operate (Investment banks that is, the ones who make all the money) and the more they and their employees are taxed, the more likely they are to move to Switzerland or whereever, massively reducing the tax income in this country leaving us in an even worse state.
My apathy towards the strikers is also not helped by a conversation I overheard between a couple of teachers in the pub the other day where one proclaimed that they "Didn't know what all this pension stuff was all about, they just wanted a day off". Also someone I know who works in Whitehall and has made a career out of moving from department to department, staying one step ahead of the Quango axe and managing to go up a pay grade or two with each move. They don't really know much about any of the areas they work in but their now long-service in various government positions means they're guaranteed to get pretty much any job they apply for. It's the very worst form of jos for the boys.
The whole public sector needs a massive overhaul to actually bring in some form of performance review, thereby rewarding people who are actually good at what they do and shedding the poor performers and ultimately making the whole shebang far more cost effective and better value for money.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 12:28pm Clifford wrote:
So what you're saying Ed is that everyone who works for a living (private or public sector) has to accept a long drawn out withdrawal of all the benefits in pay and conditions that we've won over the years and that this has to be accepted with no complaint or resistance? Do you know what happens when purchasing power is taken out of the economy? Demand falls and unemployment goes up. Which makes demand fall further and unemployment rise further.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 12:46pm expat two wrote:
Does a teacher really only average 30k? That's a terrible salary for university graduate's career, isn't it?
That's considerably less than the 'average' carpenters and brickies I was paying when I last worked in the UK.
But hey, lets pretend teachers aren't real workers and have an easy job, it makes it so much easier to demonise them, and all public sector workers by extension.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 1:41pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Very true. I know a plasterer who gets £400 a day (mind you, he is first class) and I don't know of many chippies who'll work for less than ¬£150 a day.
I think the rise in retirement age will hit the manual trades very hard. the chance of them being fit enough to carry on to 67 must be slim. Most of the chippies I know have bad shoulder, back or knee problems by the time they're in their 40's.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 1:52pm pro strike wrote:
What I find utterly frustrating is the comments from private sector workers and the government about private sector pensions wasting taxpayers money. Public sector workers pay just the same tax as everyone else so effectively are paying for their own pensions (and earnings for that matter).
The country would not function without public sector workers who are mostly on low incomes and should not face the brunt of incompetent government spending. It is enough that people are being made redundant, have to suffer pay freezes (and now a demoralising 1% pay increase for the next few years) and have to pay more into pensions which will just line the government's pockets rather than actually be of benefit to the worker! It is no good saying 'well work for the private sector' if everyone did that the country would come to a standstill without any healthcare and children's education put at risk no name just a few!
Sadly the government has also forgotten the generation of young adults who are suffering pay freezes and will in future have very low increases in wages for some time will most likely never be able to afford to buy a property as the housing prices have got so out of hand and there is no room to save for a deposit due to the rise in living costs. They will not have the security their parents and grandparents have of owning their own home by retirement age which will considerably reduce living costs and offset high retirement home costs. How will these people survive on low pensions and still have to pay rent?
On 30 Nov 2011 at 1:56pm Overworked, Underpaid wrote:
It gets a bit silly really doesn't it, when there are accusations of 'demonising' being thrown around, and a general atmosphere of 'us and them' between public and private sector. The fact is we are all losers, and none of our pensions are worth anything like what they were supposed to be. Whether public or private sector we all work for a boss, but in the case of the public sector that boss is the Government and when they dish out pay freezes or reduced pensions it makes the news. Bosses all over the country have been forced to do this for some time now, but when it happens in the private sector of course no-one hears about it and no-one is particularly interested.
There also seems to be an idea in some quarters that public sector workers are in some way special, or do a more important job than those in the private sector. Yes, of course doctors, nurses, policemen, firemen etc all do an important job, but so do people in the private sector (if they didn't they wouldn't have their job for long). Who grows your food, or makes your clothes. Who distributes them to the shops, and who sells them? How do you get your money, a mortgage or an overdraft - yes, even bankers have a crucial job to do. We wouldn't last very long without these people, and I am sure there would be plenty of complaints if shop workers went on strike and you couldn't get any food, or you suddenly found the cash point machines were all empty and the banks closed! Certainly no-one would be interested whether the person on the till at the supermarket hadn't had a pay rise or if their company pension had been reduced in value.
So, OK, I can understand why people feel aggreived that they are not likely to receive the pension they had expected (so do I), and why they might even feel they need to go on strike, but to demand better conditions at the expense of those that are already in the same boat, on the assumption that private sector workers are all better off and can afford it, could be perceived as just a little bit selfish. Would they be happy paying more tax so that the pension pots of the private sector could be topped up to the level they were expected to be at? I doubt it very much.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 1:57pm Commuter wrote:
Ed Can Do I think you will find that the public sector do have performance reviews every year already! unfortunately due to laws regarding unfair dismissal and the suing culture today it is often very hard to dismiss workers from their jobs regardless of whether they are useless!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 2:10pm pro strike wrote:
Overworked, underpaid, I think the thing that is often overlooked is that for the public sector the government is their employer and should be treated as such. Just like any other employee any big changes that are are being made that affect millions of employees and are strongly disagree to should be met with strikes if necessary, the workers voice should be heard. I don't think the comparison to the private sector is a fair one, many private sector workers strike when they feel they have too just look at TFL!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 2:29pm Angry wrote:
TfL are now private sector but with an engrained public sector culture!
On 30 Nov 2011 at 2:58pm Red Ken wrote:
Told you so. A Tory government always means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. When will the electorate learn?
On 30 Nov 2011 at 4:30pm Overworked, Underpaid wrote:
Yes, Pro Strike, the Government is the employer, that is the point I was making. In difficult financial times they have to make unpopular decisions just like any other employer in order to keep their 'business' solvent. There is no bottomless pit of money to keep diving into to provide pay rises and enhanced pension schemes, as nice as that might sound, and going on strike isn't going to change that. We are all suffering from the effects of the recession, and will be for some time yet. That is the nature of a recession isnt it? Is it not therefore a bit unfair for public sector workers to expect to be exempt from this and carry on as they were?, and is it not also unfair for private sector workers to have to bale out the public sector pension funds, whilst watching their own pensions dwindle away in front of their eyes?
If the strikers were calling for ALL pension funds to be financed out of tax payers money to the same extent, then they might find more support amongst the private sector, but if they want to 'have their cake and eat mine' which is what it appears, then I am struggling to find any sympathy for them.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 5:13pm Dingo wrote:
Blah,blah,blah,bloody blah.and more blah!You idiot,ask yourself how much we all are subsidising private sector pensions through tax relief.Eating your cake! Do me a favour.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 5:25pm bastian wrote:
The greatest thing to come out of todays rally was a call for unity between the public and private sector..foe the public sector who can strike for change to do so on the behlaf of their private colleages who are in the straight jacket of non unionised employment.
Divide and rule is a tool of employers and I dare say the particularly curt posters on here who boast of their long ours but second home ownership to tide them over retirement are the bosses of their firms.
My uncles were builders who owned their own small firm but it didn't benefit them to sh*t on thier employees because they wanted the best people to work for them.
The thing that sticks in my throat is that people are so quick to just except a lower standard..as if you have to fight a war to deserve a standard of living..
Most self made men are risk takers.many claw their way up on the backs of poorer paid people and many are quite happy to hang on to profits rather than pay their workers more or help them invest for their future.
Let's try not to race to the bottom.
Very established organisations set up in the hey day of capitalism did so through black slavery and land grabbing.(Tate and lyle, llyds bank,)
On 30 Nov 2011 at 5:36pm bastian wrote:
basiaclly what the chancellor has just done is set the economy back twenty years,
Low income now,lower income on retirement,unemployment now means no pension in retirement,means less economic growth and a fiscal slowdown.
as a speaker pointed out today, this isn't about the economy, it's about idealism...they do not believe in the public sector and they will do their damned best to get rid of it,
and before you hooray henreys get started you had better hope your firm doesn't go bust, and that your house gets reposessed because if it does you may find there is no support left.
A commentator from America..that land of freedon to die in the gutter,spoke recently of his shock at finding himself in this state after many years of capitalist glory he fell sick with cancer, then found that after two years of treatment his insurence was used up..but he couldn't work because he was to ill,so he sold his house to pay the bill...it wasn't enough and he faced that dilemma that he didn't think possible..he had to beg off the state.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 5:38pm cyclist wrote:
The country is in deep do doos and the deficit needs sorting out. The answer is simple. Increase income tax - (Make sure that the poorest paid do not suffer) for everyone else an increase in proportion to earnings would be fair. NB the fat cats should pay at least double. No more stealth taxes which harm the low paid more than the rich. All those who think that increased fuel duty only hits the rich are talking rubbish. Increased fuel costs increases the price of everything in the shops.
On 30 Nov 2011 at 8:47pm Southover Queen wrote:
I've just been talking to a friend of mine. Her husband was in the diplomatic service and they've spent all their married lives moving around the world. His final posting was as ambassador to a European nation. Because of her husband's work, my friend had to give up her own career. They decided to keep their two children with them rather than sending them back to the UK, but if they'd been posted to some countries that wouldn't have been an option. There were huge sacrifices for his wife and family, and these are two multi skilled Oxbridge graduates who could have earned a huge amount in the private sector. Instead they chose to serve their country, and they made a difference. Financially, because of his work only one of them has been economically active, and he paid a lot into the pension scheme.
Today my friend heard that two of their close colleagues were forced to flee Tehran after being effectively besieged yesterday. Another friend was travelling from her own foreign posting to pack up her husband's belongings - himself posted thousands of miles away - because he died suddenly. Their children are at school in Britain, far away from both of them.
We ask - our country asks - these wonderful, talented people to do so much and sacrifice a lot. And it's not just diplomats; my brother's a copper in London, for instance. His life has been threatened and he's been spat at. He's a person of unshakeable ethics who joined the police because he wanted to make a difference, and he has.
We owe these people a huge debt. They're not paid anything like they could earn in the private sector: they've made a choice, but part of that choice was in the knowledge that they would be able to retire in dignity.
I'm fed up of reading that workers the public sector are grasping and lazy: not the ones I know. I am grateful to them for making our world a better place.
On 1 Dec 2011 at 12:57am Dingo wrote:
Very well said Southover Queen. I work in the private sector but I have the greatest respect and admiration for those that choose to serve our country in the public sector and it goes without saying that they deserve a decent standard of living once they retire.Thid decency should be extended to us all but unfortunately private sector workers have by and large been robbed of their pensions in recent years.The solution to this problem is not a race to there bottom but to instigate a statutory responsibilityto effectively tax the profits of very rich companies who try and evade their responsibilties to their workers and to society in general by massive tax evasion and fraud.
On 1 Dec 2011 at 11:25am Overworked, Underpaid wrote:
Dingo, just engage your brain for a moment, it's hardly rocket science. Of course we get tax relief, and yes, public sector taxes contribute to that. So what? We ALL contribute. All tax payers pay into the same pot, so the public sector are not subsidising tax relief on private sector pensions any more than they are subsidising their own, or indeed , any more than the private sector are subsidising those in the public sector or each other. In simple terms, we are all in the same boat.
The point is, the people on strike yesterday were demanding that their pensions should be bolstered up to keep them at the high level they once expected. As we all pay taxes, we would all have to contribute to that, but only the private sector would benefit. So, more of yours and my tax would have to be allocated to helping them, whilst I (and no doubt you), with an equally poorly performing pension, received no extra help other than that tax relief that you mention which everyone gets. In my eyes that constitutes having their cake and eating mine. If not, or you believe that I am getting some additional benefit that they are not, then please explain exactly what that is because I can't see it.
What was laughable yesterday, was the way that strikers being interviewed changed their tune when confronted with this argument. Suddenly they claimed that their strike was just as much about helping the private sector as themselves. Yeah right...!
On 1 Dec 2011 at 4:17pm bastian wrote:
When people say laughable it usually means they feel insecure about their own point of view. To deride others is look a bit shakey in your own convictions.
Cameron actually lost his rag in parliment yesterday, that was really telling.
On 2 Dec 2011 at 9:49am Overworked, Underpaid wrote:
No Bastian, when people say 'laughable', they usually mean that what they are referring to is a joke!
Meantime, isn't your post deriding me for using the word, and therefore by implication an admission that you are shaky in your own convictions?
On 2 Dec 2011 at 1:46pm I knew it wrote:
Cameron was in Parliament, bastian.............you obviously missed more than a day in school!