• Welcome to the ShrimperZone forums.
    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which only gives you limited access.

    Existing Users:.
    Please log-in using your existing username and password. If you have any problems, please see below.

    New Users:
    Join our free community now and gain access to post topics, communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and free. Click here to join.

    Fans from other clubs
    We welcome and appreciate supporters from other clubs who wish to engage in sensible discussion. Please feel free to join as above but understand that this is a moderated site and those who cannot play nicely will be quickly removed.

    Assistance Required
    For help with the registration process or accessing your account, please send a note using the Contact us link in the footer, please include your account name. We can then provide you with a new password and verification to get you on the site.

Lord Football

Blues on Tour
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
3,427
Location
Sunny Southend on Sea
I've been a bit quiet on here for a while, frankly the whole political arena is depressing. Even so, I've busy doing what I do. I thought I'd share some thoughts....

The Recession

The recession was caused, in essence, by the collapse of the banking industry that took a gung-ho approach to borrowing and lending. However, whilst the banking industry pretty much got away scott free, especially those at the top who made decisions; it is the public service and public servants who will have to pay for their mistakes. It seems to have been long forgotten that in fact the banks are to blame, and for the last 18 months the press and politicians have banged on about the public service to the point that many people actually believe the financial deficit is somehow the fault of public servants and of the public service.

What is the Public Service

The public service is what it says on the tin, a service to the public. This includes the NHS, schools, transport, council services, welfare, tax collection, border protection and so on. I am sure everyone who reads this board takes something from the public sector, be it sending your kids to school, going to the doctor, driving.

The Cuts

George Osborne has promised cuts in the public service of anywhere between 25% and 40%. The effect will be somewhere in the region of 400000 people being put on the dole as jobs disappear, which cannot be good for the economy in anyone's book. It will also mean a degregation in the service you recieve, a service that has been several times with cuts by the previous Government.

Taxation

Another measure to decrease the deficit is the increase in VAT. Whilst an increase of 2.5% does not seem to be excessive, you need to remember that you pay VAT on pretty much everything - food, telecoms costs, petrol. So, for example, if you spend £1000 a month on these items, you will now be paying an additional £25 in VAT.

Hypocritically, there are no planned changes to the tax legislation, which still allows for the super rich to use off shore accounts and thus avoiding paying tax. The tax gap is currently running at £140bn, which is pretty much the same as the debt the Government are looking to pay off.

Whilst on the face of it the freeze in Council Tax looks a positive step, in fact it is not. It means that Councils have to supply the same services for the same money. Given that inflation is again on the rise, it really means they have to supply the same for less. That means that as well as cutting jobs, they will also either have to stop supplying a service or simply wont be able to do it as efficiently. You may find grandma doesn't get her meals on wheels, you may find your bins aren't collected weekly, you may find your Housing Benefit isn't paid on time.

Welfare

With an estimated 400000 people likely to be hitting the dole queues from public sector alone, the Government are tightening up the welfare rules to make it harder to claim and will be paying out less. So those unfortunate to lose their jobs will get a double whammy.

Redundancy

My union overturned the Brown Government in the High Court over changes to the Civil Service redundancy scheme. The new Government are looking to bring in a worse package, but know its illegal. So they will simple change the Laws. They remain the only employer in the country with the ability to change Money Bills and Employment Law to suit their own needs.

Public Sector Pensions.

Often described as "gold plated", the average public sector pension is in fact £6340 per year. Sadly, when discussing the public sector pension issue, the press and Government prefer to quote those payouts for those who work at the very top of the organisation thus giving the impression that they are the norm.

Public Sector Suppliers

A whole raft of companies supply public sector bodies with a variety of products. These range from stationary to hire cars. All these companies will see a decrease in business due to cutting of costs and jobs. The net effect will be that some of these business, through no fault of their own, will fail and close down. This puts more people onto the dole.

European Response

Ireland, Spain and Greece are all pretty much in financial meltdown as an after effect of swingeing Government cuts. Greece is almost at the point of serious social unrest. Unfortunately, Cameron and his crowd have not seen the link and are ploughing on regardless.

Manifesto

The Lib Dems counselled against drastic cuts in the public service whilst the economy was still in an uncertain state and called for these cuts to made in future years. Sadly, given the sniff of power they have forgotten this and are happy to break their election promise. In a recent opinion poll, it identified that if an election was held today, they would get just 10 seats.

The Conversatives claimed they would not make a VAT hike, it took them less than 100 days to break that promise.

Southend Effect

I fully expect to find myself without a job at some point in the next year or so. I fully expect 400 or so others in Southend to be in the same boat. That is an additional 400 people looking for a work in a town with no jobs. No jobs for me, no jobs for you, no jobs for your kids. We become a town with no future.

I make the above post without making a polticial point, but merely to explain what the austerity measures mean for us all, and to highlight the illogic steps being taken by the current administation.

The political point is that at some point I fully expect the TUC to call for massive industrial action, possibly even something on the level of the 1926 General Strike. I also fully expect the Government to attempt to silence the debate by introducing yet more draconian anti Trade Union legislation (we already have the strictest Laws in the EU).

Interesting and unpleasant times lay ahead for us all.
 
Top