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Battle lines are drawn

Mark Easton | 10:28 UK time, Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The leader of Britain's largest public sector union has announced the start of what looks sure to be a long and bloody battle over cuts to services and jobs.

Dave PrentisUnison general secretary Dave Prentis yesterday urged his 1.3 million members to embark on a nationwide campaign of resistance.

He told his union's annual conference in Bournemouth that "if this government picks a fight with us, we will be ready, we will be the fiercest defenders of our members and the services they deliver".

"The next four years will test our resolve," Mr Prentis said, "but they won't know what hit them."

I have recently returned from Nottingham where the fighting is under way. City and county councils have already announced plans for £100m cuts and 2,000 job losses between them. The battle lines have been drawn.

Some Unison workers are currently working to rule over changes to terms and conditions and, as I stood in the union's city HQ, workers were stuffing envelopes for a ballot on possible strike action.

Protesters and placards have become a familiar sight in the city centre. When services for deaf people were threatened, angry demonstrators lay across the city's tram lines.

I met grass-roots campaigners around the kitchen table fighting plans to sell off council care homes and middle-class ladies on a Nottinghamshire village green protesting at a decision to close their local library.

MoneyIt is a glimpse of the future. We won't know exactly how deep the axe will strike until the autumn, but today's BBC survey suggests council leaders are planning for the worst.

They know that two-and-a-half billion pounds in transport projects may well be cancelled: bypasses, bridges, rail-lines and rural bus routes.

Hundreds of millions due to have been spent on school buildings have been shelved. The plug may be pulled on plans for two new hospitals in Liverpool.

Millions are being cut from police budgets across England. Social housing schemes are in doubt. Many of the councils who responded to the BBC said they had plans to save on social care - services for the elderly and disabled, child mental health and respite for carers.

Local government leaders say they are doing what they must do, but unions claim the plans amount to a vicious attack on services and jobs.

Nottinghamshire's council leader is the aptly named Kay Cutts, a Conservative who has already pledged to slice £86m from the county budget.

"After 28 years of Labour administrations, it had got a bit flabby," she told me. "They weren't bad people," she continued, "but they hadn't actually looked at the services that we needed to have."

With a portrait of Margaret Thatcher hanging above her desk, there was more than an echo of the Iron Lady in what she said. "There is no alternative," she said.

"You see this as an opportunity?" I asked. "No, I see this as a necessity," Mrs Cutts replied. "Generally speaking, whenever we ask members of the public what they think, they say the public sector is too large."

Whether driven by ideology or pragmatism, the public sector looks certain to become significantly smaller. The Labour-controlled Nottingham City Council is also having to make cuts, a situation which political campaigners on the left think plays into their hands.

I attended a Socialist Party meeting in a community centre, packed with activists young and old. "It's come back again to a class war," said one veteran of the movement. "If we have wave after wave of industrial action we can stop the cuts," claimed another. "We do need to bring about something on the lines of what's happened in Greece where we take to the streets," it was suggested to applause.

It appears that old political fault lines may be re-opening as passion and anger rise to the surface. What is starting to unravel in Nottingham today, may be repeated in many more communities tomorrow.

Update, 13:22: I am informed that one of two PFI hospital schemes in Liverpool which had been under threat is confident that it will still go ahead. The Alder Hey Children's Health Park Project says NHS officials gave it the thumbs up to "go to market" last October.

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:17am on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Everyone in the public sector is getting on their 'high-horses' and bleating we can't save this, this will suffer, protect our pensions etc etc etc....

    I can see their point that under behaviour of the previous Labour Government then their expectations are high because they have got virtually without question what they have wanted for the past 13 years...

    TROUBLE IS ---- We CANNOT and DO NOT generate enough wealth through our country to sustain the current levels of the Public sector.

    I wirk alongside the NHS and see daily what has, is and will be happening. I don't doubt that an excellent job is done by the Clinical staff. They save peoples lives, assist in re-habilitation and above all, in the main CARE for those who need it.... I take my hat off to them.....

    I am also aware that the NHS budget wether primary or secondary Healthcare is Dominated by Salaries.. I think (but I wait to be corrected) Approx 60-65% of the total NHS budget is salaries...
    The most obvious way of reudcing a budget WITHOUT JOB LOSSES is surely a SLIDING scale of pay reduction......
    Those from £0 -£30k take a 5% hit. Those from £31k - £80k take a 7.5% hit. Those from £80k to £125k take a 10% hit. And finally above £125k take a 12.5% hit.
    This surely spreads the load and the burden and is the MEDICINE which 'most of the private sector (except those DEVIOUS PIGS in the Banks and Finacial services) have had to swallow for a couple of years now !!!!

    Thoughts......... I also have other ideas of simply reforming the NHS which make alot of sense...

    Ganretti

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  • 2. At 11:20am on 16 Jun 2010, Mincepie Murderer wrote:


    The strikers and demonstraters should be asked : if your strike/demo is successful and your cuts don't happen, where should the axe fall instead? Or should the taxpayers just bear the cost?

    The taxpayers want solutions. We all know there is a huge amount of waste in council services. Public sector pensions simply cannot be sustained at the current level, the unions need to wake up and smell the coffee.


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  • 3. At 11:20am on 16 Jun 2010, RichYork wrote:

    This was completely predictable. As sure as the destruction of British Leyland by 'Red Robbo' and his gang of thugs is the fact that the unions will do their utmost to play King Canute against the tide of inevitable cuts.

    UK PLC can't afford the cosy perks and overblown pensions which are now de rigeur for local government officials and civil servants.

    How do the unions react? with threats to make the government pay a political price,the same threats which have been their stock in trade for the last 50 years.

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  • 4. At 12:03pm on 16 Jun 2010, Hawkishlefty wrote:

    The problem is of course that our newest public sector workers - the bankers that caused all the problems in the first place - are not exactly leading by example are they?

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  • 5. At 12:15pm on 16 Jun 2010, Johnny B wrote:

    I'd like to keep public sector workers in a job, but that has to be subject to an immediate pay cut; and as suggested above, graded according to salary. If find some of the extraordinary pay & pensions given to politically motivated senior staff completely unacceptable.

    I'm looking forward to the strikes, hopefully some workers will then be invited to see if they can get comparable pay and pensions in the private sector (who have been suffering the last 2 years whilst the public sector bonanza continued like the Titanic sailing blithely on). I'd also like to see a truly independent commission for pay equality with the private sector that factors in little details like the 35% benefit from copper-bottomed public sector pensions, the time spent on sickies and other benefits, the fact that budget responsiblity for managers is mostly not under their control, and the higher level of job security.

    On the basis of fairness or morality, the unions have no leg to stand on.

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  • 6. At 12:20pm on 16 Jun 2010, watriler wrote:

    One useful thing public sector workers can do without any pain is to NEVER vote Lib Dem again. Those of us who did were cruelly duped.

    The slash and burn brigade are in full charge and there is no way that 'frontline services' will be protected - they will cop it all under the bright banner of so called 'efficiency' savings which can be suspiciously delivered suddenly even by Tory authorities who have had years to make their services efficient.

    For ordinary local government workers pay increases have rarely matched inflation and what we are seeing now is the public sector being assembled ready for the starting gun in the race to the bottom for terms and conditions.

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  • 7. At 12:48pm on 16 Jun 2010, davesview1 wrote:

    Every pound spent on public services has to be earned by the Private Sector. Every pound spent on public services is someone's tax.

    The Public Sector Unions need to recognise this fact and that what their members do, does not create wealth, but consumes it.

    As the country has become poorer, the Private Sector has taken most of the pain, with job cuts, pay cuts and freezes and firms going to the wall. It is only fair that the Public Sector also tighten their belts to share the pain.

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  • 8. At 12:56pm on 16 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    this is how i look at it:

    when income is tight at home then we cut our spenditure as a family..for a while we dont buy thigs that we can do without etc and soon find that we have bounced back. the government needs to work in the same way...we need to look at spenditure and anything wasteful or that can be trimmed and sadly if that is jobs then so be it for a while. the recovery will be quicker or else we could be stuck in no growth, or very little for a long time...

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  • 9. At 1:16pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    REPLY to 4. Hawkishlefty..

    How do the newest members find themselves in the position of leading by example ???

    Surely the more experience and 'senior' public sector workers should BE LEADING by EXAMPLE because they know better...... Don't they ??

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  • 10. At 1:18pm on 16 Jun 2010, Giles Potter wrote:

    It seems, increasingly, that people want 'someone else' to pay their share of everything. We all want great servics, but don't want to pay for them ourselves and so on.
    We have all become very self-obsessed, greedy and inward-looking. I hope it is obvious to most, by now, that we CAN'T go on with debts and deficits like the ones we have right now. We must make hard decisions, If this was our own household bugdet, we would have no choice, but to do something about it. However, when it is a problem at a country-level debt, we just want someone else to 'shoulder' the pain.

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  • 11. At 1:39pm on 16 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    The tories are back and they are taking up where they left off - millions made unemployed to transfer massive wealth to their backers.

    In my view it is every man for himself.

    For the public sector workers my advice would be: strikes and work to rule are anticipitated - I'm sure the public schoolboys have contigency plans. Here are some of my ideas .....

    1) The economy is already starting to dip as nervous people stop spending. Unions should coordinate a complete public employee spending strike - every public sector worker spends not a penny except food etc Every other penny to be saved in (preferably overseas) banks, ready in case you are made redundant. Economic scorched earth.

    2) Target the strikes. Lord Snooty doesn't care if some granny in Bradford doesn't get her meals on wheels. They will miss certain departments - tax collectors, bin men etc. I would also like to see Bertie Wooster plan his cuts if a few hundred, according to him, valueless civil servants stopped giving him support and walked out. A tiny number strike and the other several million all pay into a levy so that the striking ones can be sustained long term. Bring the whole stinking mess of a country to a standstill, long term.

    The tories are proud to tell us there will be pain (but only for ordinary people).

    I think the ordinary people need to be equally amoral and more ruthless - the tories only respect strength and money.

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  • 12. At 1:55pm on 16 Jun 2010, HardWorkingHobbes wrote:

    What the unions fail to realise is what happens if they all go on strike and the majority of the public can go about their general day-today business without it having any affect.

    Surely then there would be calls from the public to cut even more as it makes no difference if the pubic sector work or not.

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  • 13. At 2:01pm on 16 Jun 2010, archivist wrote:

    "We all know there is a huge amount of waste in council services."
    "cosy perks and overblown pensions...are now de rigeur for local government officials..."
    Oh no, here we go again - every single time this debate comes around on the BBC, the public sector is held up as the scapegoat for financial problems. Both the above are opinions, not facts, or at the least not facts applicable across the whole of the sector.
    Yes, commission a survey of public v. private taking everything possible into account - I would be very interested in the results. I'll wager you'll find we are very far from having it all our way in terms of positives. I've never seen or had a "perk", and private sector friends are often quite astonished to learn what we don't get, that they take for granted.
    Yes, we will have to share the pain of the bad times, and there is certainly some waste and inefficiency that can be tackled, I don't deny it; but in local government the pips are, in many cases, squeaking quite loudly already.
    In summary: just be careful, PLEASE, where these cuts that have to be made are made...

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  • 14. At 2:24pm on 16 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    7. At 12:48pm on 16 Jun 2010, davesview1 wrote:
    Every pound spent on public services has to be earned by the Private Sector. Every pound spent on public services is someone's tax.
    ==================================

    I always find that idea a bit dated.

    The days of private industry running huge factories, employing millions of sweating men and earning great wealth are long gone. There is no real prospect of bloated and ill educated british businessmen competing with the energetic and highly business leaders in China.

    Large chunks of our economic activity now is services and has been since thatcher killed off all the old industries. Services by public sector employees are services all the same.

    The so called 'private sector' is now largely propped up by government contracts. Have another look at Mark's article: all those hospitals, roads etc where the contract is cancelled are all redundancies in the so called 'private' sector.

    So you tell me who is paying who's wages?

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  • 15. At 3:09pm on 16 Jun 2010, sd wrote:

    There are must-haves and there are nice-to-haves; we can no longer afford the nice-to-haves, if we ever needed them in the first place. things like truancy, teen pregnancy, youth amusements - these are duplications and things parents, schools, police, volunteers already take care of. Services could be slashed if people behaved how they should, and took proper care of their families, their health and their communities.

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  • 16. At 3:31pm on 16 Jun 2010, BobRocket wrote:

    #11 jon112uk


    your No.1, don't know if it could be co-ordinated properly as it has never been tried before although properly targeted (ie. at companies that leading Tories have influence with/shares in etc.) may give them pause for thought.

    Your second point however is definitely a winning strategy, it has been used before (Engineering unions campaigning for a shorter working week), it was is supported by union and non-union workers alike.

    One hours pay per week was paid into a fund (the total in the fund was published), a small group was balloted on action and when they went on strike their wages were paid from the fund. The employers could see the fund growing and the action increasing, sensible employers came to agreement early, the less sensible later.

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  • 17. At 3:44pm on 16 Jun 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    Re public sector pay conditions.

    Inflation is 'floating' above 3%, any wage/benefits/allowances increase/etc settlement below this is a drop in real income.

    It wouldn't surprise me that, in a country that can spend billions on Trident,Son Of Trident, and such folly is considered ''non-negotiable'', people are expected to take a knock on real wages/reduced services/etc, there isn't a General Strike 2012.

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  • 18. At 4:01pm on 16 Jun 2010, pronking_springbok wrote:

    " Local government leaders say they are doing what they must do, but unions claim the plans amount to a vicious attack on services and jobs."

    What gets me is the way this is phrased as if the two are mutually exclusive. They're not (excluding the emotive language in the union half). Something can equally well be a significant reduction in service and also be just what needs to be done given the budgetary pressures councils are facing.

    People (public and unions) need to realise that they can't have their cake and eat it. You can't cut spending without cutting jobs (almost certainly), and you can't significantly cut spending without reducing service in some way (there's a lot more latitude on that second statement I know. But I personally think it's more true than not).

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  • 19. At 4:05pm on 16 Jun 2010, Mark_WE wrote:

    I think public sector strikes are a good idea. I expect that some departments could strike for months without anybody actually noticing - and all the time we won't have to pay the public sector workers.

    After the end of the strikes the Government will have a much better idea of exactly what departments the public will miss - these departments could get investment while the other departments could get the cuts!

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  • 20. At 4:14pm on 16 Jun 2010, pronking_springbok wrote:

    Just to echo #13

    I work in local government and no, I don't know what a perk is. And I would never complain about my salary, but I'm not exactly rolling in it. The pension's ok, but not anything like the ignorant assume.

    People get very confused between 'civil servants', generally central government employees and local government. Local government employment has actually reduced recently, unlike central, and has probably moved faster to 'modernise' pay, terms and conditions. Please, please can people check their facts before they start ranting.

    That said, as my previous post indicated, I'm hardly with the unions on this one. Cuts will come and there is no way of achieving it without losing jobs or pay AND probably services. Denying it is just sticking your head in the sand, and striking isn't going to make it go away either.

    Come to think of it, can anyone explain how the union thinks strikes will help? Local authorities get the majority of their money from central government, and cuts in this have already been announced. There is no way of meeting this without cutting something, and they sound like they're against cutting anything. Striking isn't going to change these basic facts. It just can't.

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  • 21. At 4:27pm on 16 Jun 2010, Paul J Weighell wrote:

    @jon112uk. So many incorrect urban myths…

    1/ “Every pound spent on public services has to be earned by the Private Sector. Every pound spent on public services is someone's tax.” is only ‘dated’ because it always remains true. The public sector accepts no financial risk, adds no innovation and creates no commercial wealth. It relies totally on the private sector for both income and the provision of goods and many services, as you admit. All those were created by risk taking people who start private companies. All public costs however are riskless and met by legally enforced taxation rather than earned profits.

    2/ “since thatcher killed off all the old industries.”

    Manufacturing employment fell nearly three times faster under Blair/Brown than under Thatcher (ONS data). The total financial value of UK manufacturing has grown since 1979 not shrunk as efficiency and automation has meant more could be done with less staff. Far less efficiency savings have been made in the public sector as it faces no competition and has no incentive to shed unneeded workers.

    3/ “The so called 'private sector' is now largely propped up by government contracts.”

    Rubbish. The vast majority of the private sector has no government contracts at all. Government contracts do not bring in overseas earnings to pay for consumer imports. Government contracts however are often very badly managed by poorly trained staff adding to public costs and wasting private company resources.

    4/ “There is no real prospect of bloated and ill educated british businessmen competing with the energetic and highly business leaders in China.”

    Might equally read “There is no real prospect of over-paid and ill educated British public sector staff competing with anyone.”

    5/ “Services by public sector employees are services all the same.”

    They are not the same at all. Private sector services are subject to competition to create lean efficient suppliers. Public sector services may be neither useful nor competitive and are almost always overpriced and over manned as a result.

    Asserting your view that the UK can get by with a large public sector is a dated view of the old fashioned socialists. Never mind the theories just look at the records: Large public sectors in the Soviet Union, Cuba and pre-capitalist China all led only to total chaos and bankruptcy. Large-scale left wing public sectors have led to near bankruptcy in the UK, Greece, Ireland and other European PIIGS.

    The public sector is a necessary evil that needs to be minimised. It is not the horse but the friction in the wheels of the cart!

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  • 22. At 4:36pm on 16 Jun 2010, Jimmy wrote:

    I have worked in a university for just over a year, and it has been my first time working in the public sector.Prior to that, i worked as an IT consultant on various public sector projects also. I have two points to make:

    1 - There is massive waste and lack of discipline within the public sector, this is why it is so inefficient. Budgets get used up on folly just to get the same amount again next year. This creates fake demand within the economy, so the damage from cuts will be pretty hard if you depend on that government spending. If discipline had been maintained during the good times, a lot of problems we now have as a nation would not be here. If anything, i am afraid many public sector organisations will require MORE money to keep their services running, because they are not/will not reform them. As a consultant, one tried to advise on the best possible path to apply technology, but it was usually disregarded, so this is the consequence.

    2 - Unions didn't stop the mines closing, they just delayed the inevitable. Whats happening here is a major trend in the world economy, where rising commodity prices, fuelled by the emerging nations, are putting western economies under strain. If we don't become more efficient, then we are in big trouble. We need genuine innovation to reduce our costs and return to solvency. areas like biofuel, energy efficiency and local farming can help adapt to these major trends. Strikes will just destroy everything, and will distract from the real issue - our lack of agility compared to other nations.

    working in a university, its difficult to make a lecturer understand that they have to avoid printing paper to lower costs etc, but the behaviour won't change, and it seems only a serious crisis will force change, because the culture we have has not recognised the different reality we now face.

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  • 23. At 4:36pm on 16 Jun 2010, Human Cash Point wrote:

    Frankly the Public Sector work for 'us' but I think there are too many of you, too many of you overpaid and too many of you doing non-jobs created by the last government.

    So, time for you to go I'm afraid, and the ones we need you'll need to take a paycut becuase you've outlived your over-inflated salaries and roles that have no meaning.

    Well that's ALL the management sorted. Now to the underpaid majority, could you work a little harder please, we don't need 6 of you to fill a photo-copier do we?

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  • 24. At 4:40pm on 16 Jun 2010, emma wrote:

    I really cannot believe the amount of right wing views being spouted online.

    Public sector pay bonuses? Where has that been? There has been cut upon cut of services and pay in Glasgow - council departments are now run by privatised arms length companies who have already been cutting the pay of it's workers.

    Scrap trident - we are in NATO we don't need this deterrent or has Obama told us to buy it? Hit the banks, hit the non-doms and Osbornes of the world, we are "not all in this together" it's just another stick to hit the workers, those in genuine need of benefits in fact lets be blunt those who aren't friends of the tories

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  • 25. At 4:52pm on 16 Jun 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    My advice to the country in this time of great struggle is to accept the cannabis markets make them legal and watch local economies turn around with all the new industries, Ive already asked Chris Huhne to look at such things Ive explained that I want to start a pharmaceutical company selling cannabis preparations just like GW do and that all the bio matter from my business would go on to support other industries including fuel schools environmentally friendly buildings.

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  • 26. At 4:53pm on 16 Jun 2010, LeftLibertarian wrote:

    The Tories in the '80s and '90s destroyed British Manufacturing and sold off virtually all our national assets, public utilities etc, decimating whole communities while they did it, 'a price worth paying', some Tory Minister said at the time..
    They are back, unchanged and in for a minimum of five years, unchallengeable even if the coalition breaks.
    This time its the public services turn to be destroyed. The 'ring fence' on the NHS will be broken at next year Budget.
    Hard Times ahead.

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  • 27. At 5:03pm on 16 Jun 2010, heatherdel wrote:

    Can we just remember that public sector workers are also tax payers. It's not like we don't pay tax, council tax, VAT etc. just because we work in the public sector. It's going to be hard for everyone. The issue is that the government can't dictate to private businesses so all the cuts will have to come from where they can dictate change. The public sector. Annd God help you when you need a public service and it's not there because it cost too much.

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  • 28. At 5:13pm on 16 Jun 2010, Andy wrote:

    How about each debt is told they need to cut costs, if of example those costs are 10% then they have a choice, they cant each take a 10% cut (or as was suggested above on a sliding scale that represents 10% or sufficient people are made redundant to produce a 10% cut. Let them vote on it and go with the majority view. I would think most would go for the cut as they would find it quite difficult to console those that lost their jobs.

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  • 29. At 5:20pm on 16 Jun 2010, virtualsilverlady wrote:

    Once again we have union leaders who think they can change the inevitable by urging their members to go out on strike.

    When was the last strike that successfully changed anything.

    Strikes always end up with more lost jobs than by proper negotiation and members often end up feeling humiliated by the action their unions urged them to take.

    Everyone enjoyed the debt fuelled boom and now it has led to an almighty bust and that is the reality we must accept.

    Creating public sector jobs like there was no tomorrow was part of this and was fuelled by the illusion that money grew on trees.

    Giving was easy and popular but it is the taking away that is going to be painful. Withdrawing labour at a time of high unemployment is suicidal.

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  • 30. At 5:29pm on 16 Jun 2010, BLACK_PEARL wrote:

    *********************************************
    6. At 12:20pm on 16 Jun 2010, watriler wrote:
    One useful thing public sector workers can do without any pain is to NEVER vote Lib Dem again. Those of us who did were cruelly duped.

    The slash and burn brigade are in full charge and there is no way that 'frontline services' will be protected - they will cop it all under the bright banner of so called 'efficiency' savings which can be suspiciously delivered suddenly even by Tory authorities who have had years to make their services efficient.

    For ordinary local government workers pay increases have rarely matched inflation and what we are seeing now is the public sector being assembled ready for the starting gun in the race to the bottom for terms and conditions.
    *********************************************************
    I would be interested to here what your viable solution would be to cut the over spending then ?
    Public sectors been the last bastion of rights & conditions for workers, but the moneys ran out, non left, borrowed to the limit, kaput !
    Both my kids work in the public sector, as there was no joy in the private sector, so I'm not looking forward to whats to come either.
    All I can say is never vote Labour again as its bad for the countrys health.... they always go bust, then get rescued by the Tories, but there's nothing left to sell off now, except some bank shares, so only thing to do is cut....... can't tax yourselves out of this... tho Labour did try.....using the old climate ploy as an excuse, just like the EU are going to do... funny they're bust as well, coincidence or what !

    "A country that tries to tax itself into prosperity is like a man who stands in a bucket & tries to pick himself up by the handle".
    -Sir Winston Churchill-

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  • 31. At 5:51pm on 16 Jun 2010, Keith wrote:

    Of course what needs to be done is to reduce the salaries, pensions and numbers of those employed in the public sector to match Britains economic reality.
    As with police budgets, it is never we are no longer buying Jaguars and BMW's as patrol cars or we are reducing pension entitlement to that "enjoyed" by the people whose taxes pay the police pensions.

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  • 32. At 5:52pm on 16 Jun 2010, shamblesbaby wrote:

    Didn't take long for the left wing rent-a-mob rallying call to go out.

    Been lining their own pockets for 13 years, now that it has to come to an end the "stand together brothers" chant resumes.

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  • 33. At 6:09pm on 16 Jun 2010, Lenispal wrote:

    Hopefully the BBC will put forward its candidates at a future general election where they will seek a mandate for the cuts their experts support.

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  • 34. At 6:31pm on 16 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    Reading the comments from people in the public sector they really don't realise how tough things are..... IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING NOW THE SPENDING CUTS IN GREECE WILL HAPPEN HERE!!! people need to realise this the situation is serious. The public sector pensions are a case in point. Gordon Brown set out to destroy private sector pensions 13 years ago, a system that was envied all around the world. The old argument that public sector get paid less does not hold sway anymore, my salary has been cut by over 7% & all my bonuses have gone why should countless private sector workers suffer pain when the public sector workers don't. People need to get angry with Labour if they want to get angry with anyone. If Mr ive put an end to boom & bust Brown had copied the examples of Australia & Canada & saved money when tax receipts were at record levels we wouldn't be in this mess now. The same thing happened in the 80s after the 70s Labour goverment. If we had put money away over the last 13 years of growth we would be ok now. How can we justify paying a Weekend co - ordinator £30000 a year to work 36 hrs per week.
    It is totally wrong that we are spending more on interest for the deficit than we spend on education!!!!!! If one person can justify this to me i will gladly agree with them. Mr Brown got us in this mess he received constant warnings about the banks from 2005 onwards i worked in the financial sector for a lender who recived no bailout. We were stunned at the things the FSA were letting banks do. Labours arrogance got us here

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  • 35. At 7:00pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    To ALL of those above who are perhaps of a left wing persuasion then I have one thing to say to you......

    THERE IS NO MONEY LEFT GUYS.........!!!!

    Your beloved Labour Government has spent every penny and then some, oh and some more and then borrowed more to keep all of you thinking you are wealthy and happy......

    IF you can't see this then I suggest you WAKE UP !! or tell us where you have planted yourforest of magic money trees......

    Like my initial Suggestion in point 1 and following on from some others at points 5 and 28, Johhny B and Andy I do think there is a clear solution here...

    The country needs to reduce spending, no ifs or buts....... Lets VOTE !

    either Job losses to make up the difference
    or
    Pay cuts to the value of the required reduction........

    WHICH IS IT TO BE Unions, Emma, LeftieAgitator, Hawkishlefty, watriler, jon112uk, BobRocket, heatherdel YOU decide !!!!

    I'm waiting for an answer,, which is it ??

    Ganretti

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  • 36. At 7:52pm on 16 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    21. At 4:27pm on 16 Jun 2010, Paul J Weighell
    4/ “There is no real prospect of bloated and ill educated british businessmen competing with the energetic and highly educated business leaders in China.”

    Might equally read “There is no real prospect of over-paid and ill educated British public sector staff competing with anyone.”
    ==========================================

    Thats a laugh!

    Our so called private sector is going to rescue us by competing with China. Ho-ho-ho.

    If I look out my office window I see hundreds of keen, well educated Chinese young people coming in and out of the business school, the automotive engineering school and the aeronautical engineering school.

    The are going away with degrees and PhDs and developing real, cutting edge products and businesses.

    Meanwhile we have bloated old guys telling us 'I left school at 14 and it never hurt me' and wondering why their businesses are shutting one after the next.

    If you want to deal with the Chinese you better set up some sort of quaint cottage industry and hope to earn a few crumbs off them.

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  • 37. At 8:09pm on 16 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    35. At 7:00pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti

    Personally I favour (example) 5% paycuts accross the board rather than very destructive redundancy focussed on 5% of the people.

    Bertie Wooster is cutting £6bn in spending - much of it in state contracts. There are no tax cuts, probably tax increases. Millions of people are stopping spending in case they are out of a job this time next year. £billions taken out of a fragile economy.

    So as the recession deepens, the pay cuts/job cuts will also need to apply to the so called private sector as well - might need to apply to you. Are you as gleeful about that?


    (left wing persuassion!!?? Normally everyone is accusing me of being a tory stooge. How dare you!)

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  • 38. At 8:12pm on 16 Jun 2010, The Forgotten Man wrote:

    Of course "front line" services are going to get cut.

    Just stop and think about this for a moment.The people who decide who does "front line" service jobs are not the same people who actually do them.
    So, on the principle that turkeys dont vote for Christmas, the people who decide will decide not to go. So the people who dont decide will go.

    Simples!

    Have the cuts administered by a disinterested third party then you might stand a chance of keeping more of these "front line" services.

    I dont remember the country going into terminal decline 10-12 years and 1m less public sector workers ago so there is quite a bit of slack there.

    As for '"The next four years will test our resolve," Mr Prentis said, "but they won't know what hit them."' well Mr Prentis, who is going to pay for all this?

    Many of us havent the money anymore.

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  • 39. At 8:24pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to point 36 & 37 from jon112uk

    Firstly YOU failed to answer the SIMPLE question posed at point 35.......

    Which one is it jon112uk

    Job Cuts or Pay Cuts ????

    No point really avoiding the question.... I think that you must have been studying your lefty politicians in great detail regarding answer avoidance.....

    NOW on a more personal level - firstly 'stop looking out of your window at all the passers by and get some work done !!' LOL

    Regarding the Chinese and China as a trading partner......... I work with several Chinese Medical manufacturers closely and I supply the NHS with various high quality medical devices and consumables which enable them to make savings ..... do they always - NO... they stick with what they know because of Habit and FEAR of change.... An issue prevelant within the Public sector in many cases........

    Finally I await your point at 37 because it is still being moderated - wonder why ??

    Footnote - I am 40 +, a NON bloated but fit and clear headed businessman who uses his knowledge and skill to earn a decent living.. I do not have a 'salary' - i work entirely on commisions and provide my own car, fuel, medical cover, pension provisions, other investments -

    You see jon112uk, I don't rely on a pay check from the Government or my employer at the end of the month but I rely on my wits, skills, resourcefulness and business acumen - IT KEEPS ME SHARP and alert and disappointed by your and your lefty colleagues thinking..

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 40. At 8:30pm on 16 Jun 2010, Idont Believeit wrote:

    To ALL of those above who are perhaps of a left wing persuasion then I have one thing to say to you......
    THERE IS NO MONEY LEFT GUYS.........!!!!
    Your beloved Labour Government has spent every penny and then some, oh and some more and then borrowed more to keep all of you thinking you are wealthy and happy......
    IF you can't see this then I suggest you WAKE UP !! or tell us where you have planted yourforest of magic money trees......
    Like my initial Suggestion in point 1 and following on from some others at points 5 and 28, Johhny B and Andy I do think there is a clear solution here...
    The country needs to reduce spending, no ifs or buts....... Lets VOTE !
    either Job losses to make up the difference
    or
    Pay cuts to the value of the required reduction........
    WHICH IS IT TO BE Unions, Emma, LeftieAgitator, Hawkishlefty, watriler, jon112uk, BobRocket, heatherdel YOU decide !!!!
    I'm waiting for an answer,, which is it ?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ah, the current playground bully in full rant.
    Why do you insist on telling us what we should think and then ask us to make a choice? Copying Coalition standard tactics it seems. Just as Nick Clegg wants to tell us the answer before the commision has reported, and anyone has had a chance to think about what they have to say. Or the way that George Osborne told us what to think even before The OBR reported.
    Some of us prefer to think for ourselves and I'll thank you not to infringe that right further.
    "There is no money left" - Plainly untrue. The government currently receives nearly £500bn in income. At present we run a deficit much of which arises due to entirely understandable reasons. All parties agree that it would be prudent to reduce this in the years ahead and as the OBR has confirmed the target reduction even under Darling's plan is significant.
    What is required is a sober and considered plan as to how the remaining income is to be spent. You only offer two choices but leave out any candidates that you personally don't like. There are other choices and just because you refuse to countenance them doesn't mean they don't exist. Less spent on defence for example or modest tax rises in addition to cuts in spending perhaps?
    I don't know about others but nothing is more guaranteed to get my goat than to be told 'There is no alternative'. When I hear it I immediately begin to wonder which alternatives the speaker doesn't want me to know about.

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  • 41. At 8:38pm on 16 Jun 2010, Akrasia wrote:

    The unions have been making ridiculous pay claims for years, losing all credibility. Everyone knows that cuts are necessary, they just need to be implemented fairly. As long as the rich are seen to be paying their share (through larger pay cuts, CGT increases, withdrawal of universal benefits, retention of inheritance tax and the 50% income tax rate, and a crackdown on bonuses), there'll be very little sympathy for strikers, and Unison calling a strike will do little more than put its members on voluntary short time.

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  • 42. At 9:05pm on 16 Jun 2010, Freeman67 wrote:

    Re Public Sector Gold Plated Pensions

    1 They are not gold plated, the reason we have a problem with them is that with the exception of Local Government there are no funds to back them up, Nurses, Doctors, Police, Firemen, Civil Servants etc have all made contributions to their pensions, so did their employers, what happened to both contributions is that the Government kept them and used them to fund day to day government expenditure, If a private sector employer had done that the directors and the company would have been prosecuted for theft, but its ok if the government do it.

    2. Most have reformed or are reforming their pension schemes already and although you read about the fat cat civil servants retiring on big pensions, they are the exception most retire on small pensions.

    3 You also forget all the perks that private sector employees get, and remember that its only in the last few years that anyone has commented on public sector pensions, after all no one in the private sector complained when things were going well for them

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  • 43. At 9:06pm on 16 Jun 2010, Andrew Middleton wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 44. At 9:10pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to Idont Believeit @ 40

    To be fair you are correct.... there are other options as you outlined in your little paragraph - defence, increase tax yep that's all fine but do you know what Mr Idont Believeit, we live in a very unbalanced and unstable world. Whether Geo-polictical instability, energy dependance, food supply, global migration, water supplies.... the list goes on, cutting defence (and I assume your talking nuclear deterrants)does sort of leave us more dependant on others when I would rather be IN-CONTROL of our direction....

    The Government also may well recieve £500 billion but the previous lot left us spending £656 Billion the point being that we need to make up the difference before we can then get to a point of being better at our HOUSEKEEPING and budgeting.

    I find it amazing that at a time like this people (you) cling to a politcal viewpoint that 'our Darling' was right..... GET REAL he wasn't ... get over it and get on with a plan like you suggest then..

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 45. At 9:10pm on 16 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    39. At 8:24pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti

    You import Chinese made products? - and sell them to the taxpayer?

    Yep, that just about sums it up. Just a bit more 'private enterprise' like that and everything will be fine.


    (By the way #37 is up. Will you be taking redundancy or a pay cut when the NHS cuts it's purchases from you?)

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  • 46. At 9:20pm on 16 Jun 2010, EmKay wrote:

    The simple reality is that as a nation we have too many people in the public sector. The numbers were fuelled by the labour spending boom and although most are not overpaid there are an awful lot. In some ways this looks like a conspiracy by Labour to create more voters for them through patronage.

    Unfortunately it didn't work very well.

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  • 47. At 9:24pm on 16 Jun 2010, wickedgordon wrote:

    This is a Public Sector recession caused by the bloated overspending of the last Governemnet - up to now the entire cost of the recession has been paid by the Private Sector - now that the real culprits are in the firing line the Unions are up to their usual tricks which once again proves that the Public Sector only really exists to serve the providers. Customers? Pah - who needs them!

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  • 48. At 9:24pm on 16 Jun 2010, Christine Stockley wrote:

    Here we go again, more threatened strikes by selfish Trade Union leaders. Get real, there isn't any money to pay your big pensions and often bigger wages than the lower paid in the private sector get. I get a state pension of £464 per month and out of that pay £80 into my private pension (I do not have a company pension)which I will get in 18 months time. I decided to continue payments to hopefully have a better income. However this will be no more than £100 per month. I was working part time until recently but because of lack of work I had to go and fully understood the reason. I had only been temping so no redundancy. I also save a little in the bank. I eat healthily. Out of all the intended strikers there are a million people willing to take their jobs without pension guarantees. It's about time civil servants contributed fully to their own pensions.

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  • 49. At 9:30pm on 16 Jun 2010, The Forgotten Man wrote:

    Jon112uk

    Our so called private sector is going to rescue us by competing with China. Ho-ho-ho.

    Well, rescue is a bit dramatic but dont bin the UK just yet. Even after 13 years of the most awful bungling government in our history we still export roughley 10x as much per head as the Chinese do.
    If the current government dont pussyfoot around and just do what is needed and not what is popular then the resulting apparent destruction will allow the considerable real talent to flourish.

    So we may even end up with some cottage industries like the funny little one that designed and licenced the chip that runs vast numbers of those phones that "hundreds of keen, well educated Chinese" are using , and that quirky little engineering firm that makes thos big noisy things on the wings of the airliner that you used to get there.


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  • 50. At 9:45pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to my Friend ..jon112uk @45

    Yes
    That's correct because virtually everything YOU buy as a consumer is probably manufactured there or there abouts.......

    The REASON

    Because we, as a manufacturng workforce have prices ourselves out of the marketplace and that is why my original post @01 was suggesting a 'sliding scale' not just for the NHS but the public sector as a whole.
    Don't you see, we as a society have to STOP EXPECTING an annual increase here, expecting everything to be taken care of, to STOP absolving ourselves of our responsibilities. The previous Government has been doing that, previous ones before did as well..... we never learn and when it comes to taking the medicine - alot of people are going to 'Gag'.

    Your agreement on a FLAT 5% across the board is actually UNFAIR on the lower earners I think personnaly.

    Finally - the concept of using medical devices manufactured in China within the NHS is not a bad idea. One example without specific product detail... Hospital R in the North was buying product CB. I have offered and it has been agreed to use my new product CBC.
    Do you know what, that Hospital R is going to SAVE £14k per year on that ONE item and I still make a living...... Why was the original (American) company producing Product CB charging so much anyway !!??
    jon112uk - that's efficieny and VALUE FOR TAXPAYERS MONEY..

    Regards
    Ganretti

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  • 51. At 9:49pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Ref jon112uk @45

    I work for myself and so unlike the public sector or You perhaps redundancy is not an option. I cut my cloth to suit my needs and I rely on no employer unlike yourself I assume.

    Regards
    Ganretti

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  • 52. At 10:13pm on 16 Jun 2010, boabycat wrote:

    I note that none of the unions leaders 'tell it how it is'. Going on strike has never, ever resulted in anyone who went out on strike being better off in the end. When you take into account the wages lost by being on strike, the inevitable jobs losses, the need to make more cuts due to lost tax revenues from the stikers, in the history of strikes no one has ever ended up being better off. The money made up from paltry increases in salary never offset the wages lost now and more often than not the cuts are made anyway.
    I hope the Trade Unions recognise that it was a Labour party (funded by union members contributions) that increased spending to many billions more that tax receipts can account for. As some have said above, the country can only sustain the public services the private sector can provide for. The cuts already underway are Labour cuts and no one should forget that. If the country cannot bring the debt down then when interest rates rise steeply it will be all of us who will struggle in the longer term.

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  • 53. At 11:14pm on 16 Jun 2010, Cassandra wrote:

    For all of those poor dopes above who bang on about the public sector being too big I have just one question.

    What percentage of the current deficit is a result of

    - bailing out bankers; and

    - fighting an illegal war in Iraq?



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  • 54. At 11:19pm on 16 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    #39. Ganretti wrote:

    "Job Cuts or Pay Cuts?"

    Pay Cuts reduce inequality in society whereas Job Cuts increases inequality. I pick Pay Cuts - however as there are Tories making choices I think they will plump for increasing inequality and go for Job Cuts!!!!

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  • 55. At 11:19pm on 16 Jun 2010, Cassandra wrote:

    Ganretti - you seem to be full of ideas.

    How do we deal with the fact that the bulk of the deficit is a result of bailing out bankers and an illegal war?

    Or is it the case that you are using the current problems to try to justify your own idealogical position?

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  • 56. At 11:51pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to Cassandra @ 55

    Firstly I never Justify any of my actions because if I do then I have failed to give those actions / thoughts or whatever any real consideration before hand.
    I try to live my life in a way which has minimal impact and reliance on others but still allows me to be a useful part in society, 'making a difference' if you like.
    I have got a little fired up today because the more I listen to the average'Joe' in the street the more I start to despair that people have either VERY VERY short memories or that they are related to the Ostrich group of wildfowl and enjoy sandy locations...
    In apolitical sense I am actually neither left or right or middle of the road, I just wish people did took more ownership and responsibility for themselves and stopped blaming everyone else...

    On the subject of dealing with bankers then I favour a divorcing of investment verses retail banking and I am not adverse to higher taxation PROVIDED it is transparent and auditable by the public (for whatever good that might be with some).
    Regarding an illegal war then whatever your views on it's origins then i feel anyone who is unsupportive of the troops currently DYING and coming home in bits then they should take a really long inward look at themselves... I personnally believe there is far more to any of the news than we are drip fed by the media..... the conflict in Afganistan is really about global positioning and resources. Cassandra, the world is running short of easily obtainable resources and as a consequence this will be the cause of global conflicts into the future, if we make it that far....... In afganistan recently, it was reported tat it has been known for many years that it has VAST mineral and other deposits valued at over $1 trillion dollars..... I can supply the info if required, THAT's the reason we are there as well as trying to bring a medieval country out of the dark ages and prevent a few fundamentalists at the same time.....

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 57. At 08:30am on 17 Jun 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    It is kind of kooky that the "wealth generators" came up with all kinds of imaginary 'bullion' during the "no, it is in the other hand!" days, but now cannot or will not help a healthy workaholic out of bed.

    And all because "money lenders" do not want their failed risks to be realised, we go through this cyclical exercise of trashing everything. How much support to a gambler do you give before you realise that people are dying because of his or her betting preferences and insurance schemes? That is what money lenders are. Wealth generators huh? You mean our coal, our steel, our industries tossed away in fits of dogmatic pique. They do not exist any more and, what is more, used car salespeople now number large amongst our "wealth generators"!!!

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  • 58. At 09:01am on 17 Jun 2010, Cassandra wrote:

    Ganretti - I must admit that is a pretty good response.

    If I was a government employee being asked to take a pay cut I would have a very different view if I could be assured the bankers and the better off in our society were going to contribute a proper share. Unfortunately so many of those people have the ability to structure their affairs so that they pay no, or minimal, tax. In future that should be considered as anti social behaviour and treated as such.

    On the war - I was actually talking about Iraq rather than Afghanistan but in some ways that particular horse has bolted. I do think that there should be significant savings in the defence budget(those which can savemoney without impacting on the brave men and women serving in Afghanistan).

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  • 59. At 09:31am on 17 Jun 2010, RogerACA wrote:

    It is a question of who should prevail? Should it be the Unions or the duly elected Government of this country? Whatever your views about the voting method and electoral system the UK has a duly elected government and it has a right to govern.

    It is therefore arguable that to fight against the Government is fighting against the electorate of the UK. Without that political mandate then the Unions have no case and no right to try to block the enacted will of the Government.

    Rightly or wrongly the duly elected Government must prevail, and so the Unions must lose.

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  • 60. At 09:43am on 17 Jun 2010, Parthianshot wrote:

    We are already seeing how the cuts will be implemented, front line services and activities that people care about will be decimated, while the useless non-jobs, administrators and hidden waste will go untouched. It's obvious really, if you tell me to make savings in my budget and I do it with no reduction in service or quality you will rightly question what I was doing orginally. Equally I won't have a case if I can't bleat that the cuts have caused hardship.
    The system needs reforming, starting at the top with the power to make changes being democratised. Check out the numbers employed in the NHS now and after economies have been implemented, I bet there will be far fewer nurses and beds and not much change in the numbers of clerks and administrators.

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  • 61. At 09:58am on 17 Jun 2010, Cassandra wrote:

    Geez Roger - you must be a lot of fun at parties.

    On your view of democracy we vote in a government and then sit back and do nothing till the next election. Democracy means freedom of speech and the right of citizens to try to influeence government policy.

    Do you really believe the anti-slavery movement, the Chartists, the suffragettes were anti democratic because they questioned existing government policy and campaigned to change it. The scary thing is I suspect had you been around you would of opposed each of those movements.

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  • 62. At 10:02am on 17 Jun 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    #59 RogerACA

    It may be argued the Government were not "duly elected" nor "have a mandate" since they were 'concocted' after the election was 'hung'. It is of further importance to note that unions represent no one other than their members and have no responsibility towards the country as a whole. Indeed most unions have removed themselves from the conflict of political donations in order to satisfy a fickle public.

    The issue is one of who has a right to survive during an economic crisis and it is historically proven that the bad guys always win, and the innocent always lose. Unions have, throughout their history, tried to level that out just a little. That you seem to fear them suggests they have done okay, even in the face of misplaced scaremongering, contempt and criticism.

    Personally I believe that the criminals who brought down global economic structures so casually and irresponsibly have to be hunted down and removed from any place where they can inflict such damage again. That is not happening. So why ask unions to be responsible when their opponents can get away with murder?

    Or, is the Coalition about to name names and start the hunt? They know who the people are.

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  • 63. At 10:06am on 17 Jun 2010, devonsongbird wrote:

    The only thing we can be certain about is that, under this government, humanity, respect for human rights and concern for the most vulnerable will feature NOT AT ALL in decisions about spending.

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  • 64. At 10:06am on 17 Jun 2010, Megan wrote:

    It is time that government, both local and national, got their priorities straight.

    Their primary responsibility is to the citizens of this country who employ them. We pay taxes so that they can meet their obligations to us. We do not pay them to provide profits for their creditors. Until clear evidence is presented of how they have renegotiated loan repayments to minimise outgoings, no cuts should be accepted at all.

    Consider this: if you as an individual gets into debt, the excuse that you are repaying your debt will not excuse you from meeting your obligations to pay tax or rent, nor will you last long if you fail to buy yourself food. You may minimise such expenses but you cannot cut them out. Likewise government must meet its obligations to provide essential services BEFORE a penny goes towards servicing debt.

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  • 65. At 10:09am on 17 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    50. At 9:45pm on 16 Jun 2010, Ganretti

    At #14 I presented an analysis which was a bit tongue in cheek but with a grain of truth - so called 'private sector' is mostly importing Chinese goods and/or propped up by government contracts. The idea of closing down service jobs and private industry coming to the rescue is a bit of a joke.

    Your description of your business model pretty much mirrors that.

    Sorry if can't see it as a way forward for national prosperity.

    Good luck with your business and I hope yours are not amongst the contracts that disapear in the cuts - my experience of the NHS is that equipment buys are amongst the first to go in hard times.

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  • 66. At 10:23am on 17 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    59. At 09:31am on 17 Jun 2010, RogerACA
    "...Rightly or wrongly the duly elected Government must prevail, and so the Unions must lose."
    ====================================

    A few moths ago I would have agreed with you.

    This would only apply if there is a legitimate election - not if nearly 30 million people vote and then the government is decided by one person (Nick Clegg) selling out the people who voted for him. Equally a government which has only contempt for it's ordinary citizens has no moral authority to demand loyalty from those citizens.

    I'm not in the public sector as such, but now the tories are back I regard it as every man for himself. There is no duty to nation or society for anyone.

    Just like the bankers, ordinary people may need to cause great damage to the country in order to secure an income.

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  • 67. At 12:42pm on 17 Jun 2010, BobRocket wrote:

    #22 Jimmy

    The University that you work for is a private sector organisation.
    Its major customers are probably Local Education Authorities but is also sells its services to various research organisations both public (eg. Defra) and private (eg Glaxo).
    It also takes private fee paying students (mostly foreign)

    This is the difficulty most people have in telling the difference between public and private sectors, Ganretti for example sees himself as private sector although his major (only?) customer is the public sector.

    Cutting the public sector budget impacts both Jimmy who sees himself as public sector employed and Ganretti who thinks he is private.

    The hidden cost of the banking sector (the cause of the problem) is estimated to be £50bn, Andrew Haldane, member of the BOE monetary policy committee, estimates that the total cost of the (private) financial sector driven recession is in excess of £7.2tn (that's right, trillion).

    So why does the public sector have to pay when the private sector leaders are awarding themselves pay increases of over 7% this year (plus bonuses)


    #52 boabycat wrote

    'Going on strike has never, ever resulted in anyone who went out on strike being better off in the end.'

    See my post #16, I paid one hours pay each week for 22 weeks, I gained a working week two hours shorter without loss of pay, I and my co-workers considered ourselves better off.





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  • 68. At 12:53pm on 17 Jun 2010, stanilic wrote:

    Pathetic isn't it?

    The last government ran a fiscal deficit in the region of GBP 152 billion and racked up the national debt from GBP 352 billion to GBP 766 billion and still people just don't get it.

    If we don't amend our behaviour we are going to be so far in debt we will disappear not just as a country but a civilisation as well. Greece is being bailed out by the EU because it is in the interests of the EU. Who is going to bail us out?

    This is not just a case of fairness, it is a case of survival. I don't like it at all as people are going to get hurt, lives are going to change fundamentally and we are all going to be poorer in one way or another.

    So why can't we all pull together? Own the problem and we make it easier to solve. Striking will only create antagonisms and confrontation. We don't need it. We have to find a better way to solve our problems than beating each other up.

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  • 69. At 1:43pm on 17 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    68. At 12:53pm on 17 Jun 2010, stanilic

    I would like to agree with you - the debt is real and a nation should pull together.

    Unfortunately is also see two issues you didn't mention.

    Firstly the debt is not just about spending it also about the £1.8tn cost of the recession caused by the bankers and the crazy amount of money that had to be spent to bail them out. When is a fair share of the 'pain' falling on them? Why is some of this debt not being managed by waiting for increased income, rather than imediate reduced expenditure?

    Second, this is the tories. They are just taking up where they left off. The debt is a convenient pretext. There are some rulers it is ethical to fight. Whilst the tories persist with this type of policy I have no concept of 'pulling together' - it is every man for himself. Make your own contingencies to deal with redundancy if they target you. Take whatever action to defend yourself, there is no moral duty at stake here.

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  • 70. At 4:40pm on 17 Jun 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    68. At 12:53pm on 17 Jun 2010, stanilic wrote:
    Pathetic isn't it?

    The last government ran a fiscal deficit in the region of GBP 152 billion and racked up the national debt from GBP 352 billion to GBP 766 billion and still people just don't get it.

    If we don't amend our behaviour we are going to be so far in debt we will disappear not just as a country but a civilisation as well. Greece is being bailed out by the EU because it is in the interests of the EU. Who is going to bail us out?

    --------------------------------------

    So, YOU DO NOT MENTION THE AMOUNT OF DEBT THAT HAS BEEN CREATED VIA BORROWING TO HOLD UP THE BANKS, NOR EITHER THE £BILLIONS of LOSSES TO TAXATION INCOME OR THE EXTRA £BILLIONS of UNEMPLOYMENT COSTS.

    YOU FAIL TO ALSO MENTION THAT MOST EXPERTS BELIEVE THIS BANKING CATASTROPHY WILL ULTIMATELY COST THE UK ECONOMY OVER £1TRILLION.

    Its muppets like YOU that dont get it. While banks managed to pay out £60BILLION in year end 2009/2010, WE ARE HAVING TO CUT THIS SAME AMOUNT FROM EXPENDITURE.

    Now whether theres a direct cynical link between the bank bonuses and amount of proposed cuts is open to question, but the REALITY AND FACTUAL TRUTH is that while BP is BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ITS RESPONSIBILITY IN THE OIL CATASTROPHY, UK BANKS ARE NOT BEING MADE OR FORCED TO PAY A SINGLE PENNY TOWARDS THE £1TRILLION OF UK ECONOMIC LOSS WHICH THEY ARE MOST GREATLY RESPONSIBLE FOR.

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it and give yourself a reality check!!!!!!!

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  • 71. At 6:29pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to Cassandra @ 58

    We share the same views on tax avoidance and I do find it quite distasteful to hear when those who are comfortably off try to protect/hide/hoard their wealth.... trouble is that is the society we live in .!.

    Alot of this blog is peoples envy, jealousy, 'they have that so I must have it too' ATTITUDE which is quite destructive.

    Believe it or not I read a book (long time ago) called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, an old American book - since updated by lots of 'entrepreneurs' who have reprinted it because it is out of copywrite and then added a preface and said it is their own or 'endorsed' it ???
    The original book although a little hard to understand principally talks about creating your own wealth but at the same time remembering your fellow man. It suggests that for what we earn, we should save, spend and donate. The ratio's are approx Save 25%, spend on yourself 25%, donate 15%, use the rest for your bills - the ratios are probably wrong but the sentiment is Share a portion of what you create.....

    I don't see any of that mentality in todays society - donate 15% of what I earn !!! Well actually I DO !! That is a principle to me but I rarely see it in others who are more concerned about themselves in the main, not all, but most.. Until society changes then we will all continue on these little blogs arguing with each other about things we CANNOT change......

    Regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - then yes Iraq was about Oil, but also about polictical de-stabilisation of a region and quite possibly ' A RELIGIOUS' aspect from the west to the muslim world.
    The USA is a deeply religious and God fearing nation, I do believe that this was a part thought in the leaders at that time..... perhaps not now but certainly STILL in the eyes of some of the USA population.
    I also believe Iraq was a push for re-starting American business and developing some global corporates to maintain dominance in the face of the East. (Haliburton and others spring to mind)

    As mentioned the war in Afghanistan is about the recently (?) discovered mineral assets of that country.... the link below might shed more light on it for you..... You might think the website a little strange or dubious and in all honesty some of it is complete nonsense HOWEVER there is also alot of information here you will never hear from the mainstream broadcasters.....

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread583160/pg1

    Finally - apologies for some of my poor spelling, I realised that Afghanistan is spelt with an 'H'...

    Thanks for that..

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 72. At 6:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    To my friend jon112uk @ 65

    Firstly, thankyou for your concern about my 'contracts' with the NHS and overall future survival....... Survival being the operative word here because I am one and I will !... As i said before in an earlier post, I aim not to be dependant on anyone BUT myself and there I assume total RESPONSIBILITY.
    Regarding the NHS then your right, whenever there are cuts then pressure follows to cuts medical device budgets. This has been happening for the past 3-5 years in reality. Some Proactive Hospitals have done this but many have refused and carried on paying INFLATED prices for everyday equipment because that's what they have always done. My company and I are well placed because we can continue to reduce costs whereas others other larger BLOATED global corporates are fixated on share holder returns and maximum profit, kill the competition mentalities which as WE ALL AGREE cannot be allowed to continue. Don't worry, I am working hard at the moment to secure NEW business and grow the team - surely thats good jon112uk ???

    Without being rude to you jon112uk we come from two VERY different mindsets...
    I tend to take responsibility, look for opportunity, earn from my endeavours and be reliant on NO bosses or large state employers. I aim to be positive and if I get kicked I DON'T complain or whine to the union..... I pick myself up and get back into the action because how long do we all really have on this planet ???

    You on the other hand I fear are the opposite of what I have written above here relying on your BIG state employer to protect you in the big nasty world......

    Get real jon112uk !!, be your own person, focus on important issues, make a difference and stop looking at the negatives without OFFERING any SOLUTIONS....

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 73. At 6:57pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to BobRocket @ 67

    Firstly BobRocket I also work with the Private Healthcare Industry as well so I have my feet in both camps, if you like.... That's caused spreading the risk or not having ALL your eggs in one basket - a SOUND/SOLID business attitude I think !

    Cutting the public sector budget might well affect me but in all honesty it probably won't.. Read my post above to my old friend John112uk.
    In reality the NHS budget is split 'Approx' 60-65% salaries, 4% medical Devices (that's me), 12% Big Pharma Drug Companies, the rest on maintenance of buildings and other services.
    The biggest budget BY FAR is salaries and I suggest to you BobRocket that we will HAVE TO follow the example of other countries in Europe 9naming NO names) otherwise we will find things very Expensive in the future.

    To finish on here - 'Ganretti thinks he is private'.....??? I like your logic and in essense it is true I suppose - I do rely on the NHS and Private healthcare companies to 'pay the bills' but without my devices then everyday medical procedures would not occur, there would be uproar by those who expect evrything to be done by the satae, paid for by the state..... you see BobRocket you actually need people like me otherwise your protected sheltered world falls apart.....

    NB - I do actually agree with you and Cassandra on the banks but for there to be sweeping changes there we need a consenses and society change for that to occur...

    Are you willing to lead the revolution ??

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 74. At 9:05pm on 17 Jun 2010, Keith wrote:

    These "selfish overpaid, over pensioned" public sector workers most of you are slagging off, that will be losing their jobs are the people who clean the hospital wards your relatives might need one day. The care staff at the social services dept. your elderly parents will need are the ones being sacrificed. The some of the staff at the school that received an excellent standard where your children attend will suddenly be absent and that excellent award will be gone by next summer term, looks like you'll need to move again!

    This "streamlining of budgets" will mostly be aimed at the public sector that had nothing to do with the financial mess the worlds in. It seems to me that the financial sector has walked away from all this without so much as a backward glance. They still claim they need their bonuses and large salaries to ensure the best people stay with them. It was these "best people" that got it totally wrong, so perhaps if they go it won't be such a bad thing! So can someone please explain to me, just why has no one from any party proposed any serious plans to get them to pay for the mess they caused with their greed and avarice.

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  • 75. At 10:36pm on 17 Jun 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    Hi Ganretti

    Reading through your posts leads me to conclude that you have a very firm eye on want you want and a firm hand on the tiller.

    Personally, I like to make a difference. My confidence is self generated, unrelated to any predetermined set of rules about success, and remains intact no matter what happens. I call it self esteem. I have an eye on others and a hand on the "on/off" switch the moment someone suggests they need my assistance. At that moment a trade begins since the partnership I have with another or others teaches in both directions. No "win/lose" is set although a best case scenario may be chalked up alongside the worse case.

    There are situations where I may suggest little happens until a corner is turned. I may, in an innocent way, make the corner come more quickly, or even change its location. Making a difference can be ever so slight in deed but the impact can be enormous. People can be seen to take control and be the "boys and girls" you would like them to be.

    You see habitual bullying knocks the stuffing out of a lot of folk especially when they have social and private lives bearing the brunt of the mental pressures. Watching just a little of the pressure lift as these people change their lives is reward enough for just being in the right place at the right time.

    I'd like to get to grips with the bullies who wrecked our economies. They wouldn't do it again.

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  • 76. At 10:39pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to Keith @ 74

    I agree with your sentiment over the Financial sector.. I think thier wreckless lending and desire for continuous growth was a complete folly.
    The best people in my opinion could probably have been replaced with other best people who would have achieved the same result. The world was on one big ride going up and as a consequence the public sector workers felt agrieved that they were missing out and so the Government of the time , to currie favour decided to BLOAT it up and up and up....... Unfortunately now it is bloated so much it is flying higher and higher and is about to be popped.

    Keith - society and it's attitude has to change...... we live in a take take take, not fair, not fair , I want this , i want this now society...

    It doesn't work..... it has to change but the big question is how ??

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 77. At 10:50pm on 17 Jun 2010, Graphis wrote:

    I find it quite ironic that, under Labour in the 60's/70's, we seemed to have a society where we all realised we were in the same boat, and had to collectively share the burdens of the time. We also seemed to be a lot nicer to each other as a society. Then along came the Tories under Thatcher, and suddenly greed and selfishness were the new "good", and helping others, rather than oneself, was "bad".

    Now, we seem to have the reverse of this: under New Labour, we had the greed exacerbated and the country run into the ground. Now, under the Tories again, we are all exhorted to muck in together to help clean up the mess. It will be interesting to see if this 'new collectivism' will make us all a nicer society...

    Strange how the meanings of the words 'socialism' and 'capitalism' seem to have swapped places...

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  • 78. At 11:42pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ganretti wrote:

    Reply to Daisy Chained @ 75

    I'm not sure if to say thankyou for an endorsment of embracing change in oneself and others
    OR
    Consider myself 'told off' for being overbearing and a bully ??

    If it is the latter then I make NO apologies for using my democratic right of expressing my opinions however brutal they might be.

    If on the other hand my opinions at least encourage others to look at the bigger picture (Which is what I do in forming my opinions) then I view that as a positive.

    You see Daisy Chained, the world currently has started to worry me a little in the fact that perhaps you and I and everyone on here recognises Change is required, be it in the banking sector, be it public services, be it our depenance on oil ONLY The Powers That Be seem currently unwilling to consider change really....

    I guess it's late and I am a little tired but I look forward to conversing with you again, even if, as I suspect you are probably on a slightly higher intelectual level than I.

    Regards

    Ganretti

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  • 79. At 07:56am on 18 Jun 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    #78 Ganretti

    And thank you for commenting.

    It is the words, Ganretti, always ambiguous and inviting imagination as as you read me, or I read you. It is the same in conversation too, same old language! What did he, or she, really mean? What was he, or she, really thinking?

    You see you cannot control anything in life that involves someone else. You may produce your goods for consumption, but, just for one second, think of all the "someone else's" that you rely upon. One little difference here, or there, or all over the shop, and the control vanishes. You change, but then, so does someone else.

    There are no accolades to be won, or lost, just a feeling deep inside that you may be doing the best you can with what you have. Like I said you cannot control others and who would want to?

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  • 80. At 12:06pm on 18 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    72. At 6:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ganretti

    Hello again.

    You still didn't address the irony of a 'private sector' concern being entirely dependent on taxpayer money (and exporting large chunks of that money to China). Are you private sector or public?

    Funnily enough, although I have an employer, most of the income that sustains my wage is earned by competing with others. Sometimes the money is from the UK taxpayer like yourself - but we still have to compete for that. Much of it is earned by competing on the international market and attracting course fees which represent genuine income for the UK economy (~£100bn pa from all universities). That's money from China coming into the UK, not the other way around.

    Oh - and I have a very viable contigency plan for my own survival if this bubble ever bursts.

    (From direct past experience ... sometimes NHS managers just stop buying alltogether, cheapest supplier or not. Equipment, maintenance and training budgets are the usual soft targets, compared with staffing cuts, when times are hard. The NHS has years of experience of boom and bust.)

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  • 81. At 5:50pm on 19 Jun 2010, desabled wrote:

    the TUC should be on the streets now while the new politics results in£6000 perweek on wine to top up the 860+k winecellar show's the only thing that has changed is they are quaffing from the cellar instead of on exs or maybe both surely the cellar's contents should be auctioned off they've been in a month and spent 17k on booze i thought joe public were the binge drinkers it does show where the priorities of this government are the minister rtesponsible said itwas done for the benefiot of taxpayers!
    i'll settle for a case of chateaux neuf du pape.thgis lot are worse than the last

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  • 82. At 9:58pm on 19 Jun 2010, bedbug97 wrote:

    I often wonder why we seem to think political ideology is dead in this country. And the answer is simple the capitalist class don't want an alternative to there hegemonic control of the world. Thus the public are made to believe things are the way they are meant to be. This propaganda comes from the top (capitalists, politicians, T.V, print, policy think tanks, academics etc). This tiny minority virtually control every aspect of our lives, and we are told it is democracy. The average voter has the largest share of the vote, so capitalists circumvent this by infiltrating all three major parties and replacing their policies with something in-line with their own interests. Or deploying their financial influence to lobby any wayward politcian, to get laws passed in their favour. And promoting anti-trade union legislation, to further strength their control of the workforce.
    When the capitalist system breaks down and crashes every decade or so, the ruling class uses it to try and lower living standards for the working class and the lower ranks of the middle class. They start by cutting back on public services and then with pay cuts and redundancies, and freezing pay. Whilst giving the private sector tax breaks and lucrative public contracts, or their banker chums massive taxpayer bail outs. And then eventually offerring up these public services for privatisation. Slowly the public sphere is being plundered by the capitalist class, yet the very working people who are hurt by these measures are blissfuly unaware or think they are necessary. The public sector does not create recessions, capitalism does.
    The truth is we have very modest public spending compared to the rest of europe, at 45% of GDP although it would be a lot less without the banking bail out. This is the same level as 1985, when Thatcher was in power. France and Germany are around 53% of GDP, and Britain does'nt come close to their productivity levels. Making people think public spending is out of control is a big capitalist lie. It has'nt gone up in 25 years.
    The capitalist class in this country are determined to not lose a penny from this recession (and they have'nt. The top 100 UK capitalists saw there wealth rise 30%). They will make the average person pay by reducing their standard of living. Its these people who depend on public services the most. Pay rises will be below inflation or frozen altogether, meaning that we are seeing are income decreased year on year. This is before the proposed rises in taxes. With inflation at 5% and no pay increase your income has dropped 5%. Now add to that cuts in the quality of your childrens education, cuts in your health care, cuts in benefits, increased fees for higher education, cuts in pensions. Its a grim picture. Our quality of life is being attacked, by a cabinet of capitalist miilionaires, whilst their rich friends are avoiding a huge bill of over £120 billion in unclaimed taxes every year. Enough to reduce the debt deficit by two thirds.

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  • 83. At 11:26pm on 19 Jun 2010, Cardean wrote:

    In my professional career I worked for a private company, then ran my own business, and finally entered the public sector. The main difference between private and public was simple - the private sector had to generate income,the public sector spent money allocated to them to spend. This fundamental difference created utterly different work ethics and social attitudes from employers and employees alike. Now when I see the public sector coming out with the same old argument about "front-line services" being under threat, I wonder if a local council desk clerk is any more deserving of that description than (say) a Tesco check-out lady, a taxi driver, or trawler captain. All work for a living, earn a wage or salary, and have families to look after....the only difference still applies, the local council worker is paid by public funds, the others have to EARN their pay. That is why those who don't earn their money but are paid by us now have to take the cuts along with everyone else....like the thousands of private sector workers who have already had a tough time in the recession. Time the delineation between the two sectors was abolished. All who work for a living are in the same boat - but those who "make money" always do so at someone else's expense. That is where the real difference lies.....

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  • 84. At 10:41am on 20 Jun 2010, malcolm heard wrote:

    It is time the public sector had a good overall to see who have jobs that can be axed to save money, in the past cuts in jobs on the local council that were axed were those of the front line workers,such as Bin men, School dinner ladies and cleaners and gardeners, yet the number of office staff increased, and it is time for local councillors expenses to be curtailed, most of these people earn more than someone in full time employment

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  • 85. At 7:05pm on 20 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    Finally - the concept of using medical devices manufactured in China within the NHS is not a bad idea. One example without specific product detail... Hospital R in the North was buying product CB. I have offered and it has been agreed to use my new product CBC.
    Do you know what, that Hospital R is going to SAVE £14k per year on that ONE item and I still make a living...... Why was the original (American) company producing Product CB charging so much anyway !!??
    jon112uk - that's efficieny and VALUE FOR TAXPAYERS MONEY..

    Regards
    Ganretti

    = = = = = = =
    Actually the reason why Chinese goods are cheaper is very simple

    1/ China keeps her foreign exchange rate artifically low to start with - So other countries cannot compete on an equal playing field - more expensive to import into - and artificially cheap to export from.

    2/ Chinese workers get far less money comparitively - and live in far worse conditions.

    3/ Overall Unemployment rate is very high - that is why so many chinese are moving INTO cities

    4/ Chinese Building costs and general runnibg costs are lower.

    5/ Given the artificial controls China has over her people - No wonder production costs are low.

    This is the reason why the USA cannot produce a similar device for a lower price.- the same applies to the UK.

    For a so called Businessman I very surprised you don;t know this - or acknowledge it. The rise of chinese exports are the result of unfair practices.

    I give one similar example when I was a Businessman years ago - I imported Hungarian X-Ray equipement and Dental aspirators - they were about 30% of UK machines and as well made.

    BUT a UK teacher earned £20 p w - A Hungarian Teacher earned £4 pw - Both had comparitively 'good' lifestyles - Other Hungariann workers had similar low wages.

    But if there was an actual comparison of "efficiency" of production - The UK products were more efficiently produced - but dearer to buy.

    Chinese goods are not efficient - they are cheap - and NOT good for the UK tax-payer - It causes UK manufacturibg industries to disappear - A process started by Tory Thatcher. - and she was SO WRONG!!

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  • 86. At 7:22pm on 20 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    82. At 9:58pm on 19 Jun 2010, bedbug97 wrote:

    I often wonder why we seem to think political ideology is dead in this country. And the answer is simple the capitalist class don't want an alternative to there hegemonic control of the world.

    = = = ==
    Though I agree with your general sentiments - at least one of your facts is wrong - NHS - Education and Welfare spending HAS risen in the last 13 years - BUT it was ONLY to redress the enormous damage inflicted by the Tories (for reasons you've given).

    The reason for the Tory teacher shortage was simply that Tory restricted pay rises so pay was BELOW the private sector for the same qualifications - so teachers left.

    The reason for NHS chaos was generally because Tory cutting wards and hospitals - so now France has far more.

    Tory policies inflict hardship on the poor - never the rich. Vote Labour!

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  • 87. At 01:08am on 21 Jun 2010, bedbug97 wrote:

    @ 86

    Public spending was at 37.7% of GDP when Labour came into power in 1997. It then rose to 41% in 2008. And now is at 45% due to the bank bailouts. My point was it has not gone above 45% in 25 years, but has dropped in between.

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  • 88. At 10:47am on 21 Jun 2010, aristotles23 wrote:

    "Cameron purges councils of Labour supporters" "Abdication of full service provision by reformed councils" "Citizens to be voluntary workforce for councils" "Two-tier society at war for resources" "Poorer councils in plea over funding crisis" "Westminster says no to more council subsidies" "Devolution not enough say Welsh and Scots" "Unemployment reaches ten million shock" "Westminster in EU fines row" "Inflation uncontrollable says government" "Conservatives re-introduce conscription" "Army chiefs in conscription row" "Britain becomes one party state" "Britain and America declare war on Iran" "Iran in missile attack on Israel horror"......Just some possible headlines we might well see in the near future........scary thoughts indeed....

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  • 89. At 1:52pm on 21 Jun 2010, richardgh wrote:

    84. At 10:41am on 20 Jun 2010, malcolm heard wrote:

    It is time the public sector had a good overall to see who have jobs that can be axed to save money, in the past cuts in jobs on the local council that were axed were those of the front line workers,such as Bin men, School dinner ladies and cleaners and gardeners, yet the number of office staff increased, and it is time for local councillors expenses to be curtailed, most of these people earn more than someone in full time employment

    = = = = = = =

    What makes you think those in public service are NOT in full-time employment??

    "such as Bin men, School dinner ladies and cleaners and gardeners" Anyone with a PART TIME JOB gets PART TIME PAY just in the private sector.

    Let me give you an example on my public service job.

    Started work at 08:30AM - 10 mins tea break if lucky - 20mins Lunch break - worked until 09:00 PM four nights a week at work - worked until 4:30 PM on the fifth day - Then worked about 20 hours a week at home to cover work requirements. I was actually paid for a 38 hour week - though I actually worked 78hrs -

    No perks - except school holidays when I usually took a group off for two week adventure programmes - twicw a year.

    What was I? A school teacher in the state system - on a less than private sector salary.


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  • 90. At 6:44pm on 24 Jun 2010, aristotles23 wrote:

    82.....bedbug97.....Spot on! The truth about capitalism is not something most people will be aware of because of the propaganda which is a constant in all our lives.Money is credit,a promise to pay the bearer on demand,problem is,money is printed that is not asset-backed and subsequently any economy which is flooded with this value-less cash crashes soon after.The ruling elites have long ago decided that we are to be periodically purged of the aspirations generated by The Enlightenment and by Universal Suffrage,the progenitor of the Emancipation(of the working class and women in particular)so this regression in wage levels,living standards and general economic expectations is the historical norm.A new era of global fascist hegemony has begun,and the working population pay the price of the elites ambitions,and their philosophy does not include the idea that everything they do is pro-bono-populo,quite the reverse,we(the workers)are a cash-cow for the corporate fascists,our taxes make them richer every year,while we get poorer or,at best,remain in stagnation.

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  • 91. At 12:19pm on 25 Jun 2010, natasha edstrom wrote:

    Divide and conquer. Turn the private sector against the public and we all forget who's really responsible for this mess, ie the banks and the Government. Bankers can carry on risking our money and paying themselves enormous bonuses and the politicians can re-shape the country as the megolomaniacs see fit and we'll be too busy fighting among ourselves to make a stand against them. The people on here sucked into this myth about the wasteful public sector are astonishing and I'm really not sure where they're getting this information from. I work in the public sector, earn £15-£20K less than I would in the same job in the private sector, can't afford to pay into a pension scheme and do a job that used to keep three people streched. Every year there is a cull on jobs, every year funding is cut by millions and every year we're expected to take on the work left by those made redundant and increase productivity. It's a soul-destroying task. People come into the public sector to serve the public, not to make a huge profit for a couple of fat cats. It's an extremely stressful and unpleasant environment to work in so please, those of you who get your ridiculous views from the right-wing tabloids, back off and don't bother passing comment until you get your facts straight. We should all be supporting each other instead of trying to make others suffer just because you feel hard done by.

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  • 92. At 1:14pm on 25 Jun 2010, aakhet wrote:

    pension and retirement changes

    my retirement date was october 2007 my claim was refused on the excuse the law had changed in 2009 before it was implemented. that only applied to those born after 1955. we left school at 15 and could retire at 50-60.
    My employer dismissed me on grounds of capability which is legal.

    there should be a legal challenge to retirement changes as the previous government cutt 100 billion from pensions resulting in pension chaos.

    employers who cant sack older workers will simply dismiss them on grounds of capability to get round it and they wont get there pensions. There is no evidence to support everyone lives longer. many die before 60.

    wev paid our share working 44 years

    this needs to be seen a a public interst issue and perhaps a judical review as the changes may be unlawfull certainly for those born before 1950


    many liek myself will find they cant apply for benefits if over 60 only pension, they cant get that, so will have no income and become destitute and the outcome will eventually become life threatening. the elderly need protection not exploitation as they have no voice.

    aakhet

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  • 93. At 3:38pm on 25 Jun 2010, splashdown wrote:

    It does make me angry when some public sector employees and Union bosses moan about cuts, where do they bury their heads? I work in the Public Sector in the Police and yes I have a good pension but I have paid for it, I have paid 11% of my wage for 24 years into this. I am happy to take what is an effective pay cut for two years to help out repair Labour's waste and consider myself lucky to be in a job. Why can't the rest of the Public Sector just put up and bear the pain like we all need to, Unions - who needs them?

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  • 94. At 5:28pm on 25 Jun 2010, normal_bloke wrote:

    Be very very clear mark Easton that the bbc is supposed to be bias free!

    The current economic mess has been caused by Labour
    current job cuts are the result of plans laid out before the election therefore Labours
    You should be investigated why unions are wishing to subvert the democratic decision of the country

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  • 95. At 7:23pm on 25 Jun 2010, MANUNITEDFOREVER wrote:

    LET THE CLASS WAR BEGIN DOWN WITH THE CONLIBERAL PACT..

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  • 96. At 7:24pm on 25 Jun 2010, aristotles23 wrote:

    91....natasha edstrom....Well said and totally correct,the extreme right has been in overdrive with its propaganda about the public sector,unemployed,immigrants,the sick and disabled,migrant workers etc.And many who post comments on here are revealing their own prejudice and sadistic fantasies of the destruction of others,usually less fortunate than themselves.The last time it was gypsies,communists,gays,the mentally disabled and of course the Jews.Endlessly repeating the mistakes of the past betrays not only an extreme lack of foresight but also a complete ignorance of the real truth of historical events and their instigated preludes.

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  • 97. At 09:38am on 28 Jun 2010, aristotles23 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 98. At 1:26pm on 28 Jun 2010, Neil wrote:

    The 'tax payer' includes people working in the public sector so don't you forget that. Parasitic upper classes are at it again making us the scapegoats for their indolence.

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  • 99. At 12:00pm on 02 Jun 2011, U14890913 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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