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Some political things that are on my mind atm Surely if the aim is… - Sawboss' Journal

About Some political things that are on my mind atm Surely if the aim is…

Previous Entry Nov. 18th, 2010 @ 12:52 pm Next Entry


Some political things that are on my mind atm
Surely if the aim is to get people off benefits and into work and to "make work pay" the best way of doing so is actually increasing the minimum wage to a "living wage" standard and cracking down on those employers who still offer sub-minimum wage rates of pay or those who only pay for a set amount of hours but expect a job to be finished and you to work unpaid overtime, rather than cracking down on benefits which are often hard to get by on at all for most people. yes I'm against freeloaders in the benefits system but I don't think that punishing legitimate cases on benefits with a 10% reduction in Housing benefit for every year on it without employment is the solution, increasing the incentives to work from the pay side as well as reducing the cut off of benefits to workers is the way forwards

I intensely dislike the Tory (and there are blue and yellow tories now) assertation that the deficit is down to Labour government profligacy and sprinkling the money out when there was nothing to back it up. All of their narrative completely blanks out the global financial crisis which was the fault of the banks and a monetary policy that they supported (and thought wasn't lax enough) which the previous government had to rescue the country from, Osbournes opposition plan to this was the same as Ireland's which hasn't worked (and is the one he's now implementing). The issue isn't just that they paid out a lot to save the rich bankers to stop the country going down the shitter completely, its also that our tax income has dropped considerably from what it was forecast at, and you can't then cut back to the new level straight away as that makes the situation worse.
And on the back of this the idea that we have to deal with the deficit now, and that budgetary cuts are the only wayto do so. There are other ways. Better promotion of economic growth will build a sustainable growth pattern which will in turn increase the returns the treasury gets on taxes.
Running inflation at just 1% above the 2% target would also half the deficit in ten years, which wouldn't be to bad so long as take home pay and wage increases (plus minimum wage and benefits) kept in step to it.
Even end loading or spreading of cuts would be better than the current situation which is A) ideological and B) pure electoral politics - as they have front loaded all the cuts so they come in quickly and in a big swing, which makes the impact worse now but likely to have been forgotten by 2015 unless they screw up

Lastly the Britain gives billions to Irish bail out thing - actually I agree that we should be doing this but.. I find it galling that Osbourne is willing to give say 7bn quid to Irish banks (and from there pretty much to support the loans they've got from british banks - so its our fat cat rich who cash in really) when he's cutting what 19bn? or so from the benefits budget here and thus saying sod the poor but you tax payers can pay for my rich mates to get richer.
I agree it needs to be doneto stop a second wave of banking and credit crisis spreading but.. doing this whilst squeezing the poor and pretty much leaving bankers and other rich businesses free to operate in the same fashion as caused the crisis, and not getting our money back from them? That is more than annoying.

But hey Wills and Kate are getting married next year, hopefully its because she's got a bun in the oven and they need some shotgun wedding type stuff - hopefully the bill for policing and clean up doesn't fall on the tax payer but on the royals as well.
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From:annwfyn
Date:November 18th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
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Dude, if William and Kate had any control over their own lives, and the right to chose how their wedding went, how they wanted to live, and where they wanted to live, then they should totally pay for it themselves.

But they don't.

Their wedding is going to be used as a political tool and as a way of making a lot of money for this country in terms of tourism etc, and they will have no say in what happens at all. And you know what? That means they don't have to pay for it, any more than David Cameron has to pay for the Opening of Parliament.

It's a state event. That means the state pays. It's also not a lot of money in the greater scheme of things.

I agree with the rest of this post tho.
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From:skinny_cartman
Date:November 18th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
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except the state won't pay, the local authority will in this case westminster city council has to budget for policing and clean up costs.

And the royals are the state, we fund them already to a fairly decent tune of money. And we hardly get good value for that, as they close away all the stuff they hold "for the nation" and barely do any bloody work.
Least they could do is a daily hand wave of some royal from Buck house.
That'd get the tourists in.

If anyone else's wedding turned the city centre into a deadlocked place needing extra coppers and then left them covered in trash, they'd have to pay for it.


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From:belak_krin
Date:November 18th, 2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
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I think the royal family is well worth a couple of quid a year. Not only tourist-wise but for foreign dignatary hilarity.
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From:annwfyn
Date:November 18th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
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But they would have _chosen_ to have that wedding. Will and Kate aren't. They have no choice and they would get more of a slagging if they didn't. Do you remember when Diana died and the Queen wanted to keep the boys up in Scotland to grieve quietly and then have a private funeral for family only? There was this huge public outcry until there was a big state funeral.

Maybe you don't like it, but most people expect the Royals, in this case, to put on a show for events like this. It's part of their job role. William getting married in this way is explicitly part of the contract, something he has to do in this manner. And I don't know about you, but if my job tells me I have to do something, I sort of expect them to pay for it and not just send me the bill and then say "well, it comes out of your salary, but we pay that anyway".
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From:sherbetsaucers
Date:November 18th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
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Because this will be the first big thing that costs Westminster money ever? Let's look at Lord Mayors Parade, London Marathon, Opening of parliament. Hell, during PMQs roads are closed down.

You know, Westminister can afford it. If not they should bloody raise council tax. (Seriously, go take a look at THOSE numbers, it's insane!)

Having beef with the royals is another thing entirely.
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From:belak_krin
Date:November 18th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
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I actually agree with the principle of working for your benefits after a certain amount of time. Aside from anything else I think it does a person good mentally to have to get up every morning and go do something and it also looks better from an employment perspective to be able to say 'ok I was picking up litter, but here's a reference from the government stating that I turned up on time and did a good job'.

That said, I don't really trust that the implementation is really going to work and I think punishing people for not getting a job through reductions is somewhat unfair. I also think there's a big question mark to be put over those cases were the person is unable to work due to ill-health/disability.

I think it would be great for there to be more options for people on (the current) DLA and similar to be out doing work, even if all they can handle is a few hours a week at a charity shop. Again - mental health, future employment and rehabilitation benefits. However, its the implementation and who decides if someone is 'faking it' that concerns me. Any system you put in place is likely to hit those that need before those that are cheating.

But then, this is true for all things. As a public sector worker, the cuts are going to hit me hard and will likely see me leave the public sector (pay freeze with no chance of advancement? Thats what I want!). However I can see room for cuts to be made, but not in the scale that is being asked and more importantly its not the wasteful areas (incompetant managers, HR, contracts with private companies that benefit them while reducing the service to the public) that are getting hit, its the jobs of people who are actually providing the services to the public.

I similarly don't get why we didn't get a 'all your profits are belong to us until you pay off your debt' system with the banks but there you go.

As for the royal bash, I'll be very interested to see figures after the fact - there has been talk of a suprisingly profitable international income from the event as the Americans are idiots and like to buy commemarative crap.
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From:jholloway
Date:November 18th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
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Because if there's one thing British people don't like to do, it's buy commemorative royal wedding shite. Why, they don't even like to talk about it.
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From:belak_krin
Date:November 18th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Oh we love the horrible stuff (fancy spoon with someone's face on? Get in!) but I guess my point is why does America get so excitable about the Royal family?

Its like deciding to go vegetarian and then drooling over someone elses bacon sandwich.
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From:annwfyn
Date:November 18th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, but most Americans didn't individually decide to get rid of the monarchy. A bunch of guys did in the 18th century. Doesn't mean they can't find kings and queens etc cool now.
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From:twisted_times
Date:November 19th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
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America get so excitable about the Royal family?

Because they don;'t have one of their own; the closest they have is the family of whoever is President at the time the Kennedys.

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From:annwfyn
Date:November 18th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
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I have commemorative mugs for Charles/Di and Andrew/Sarah. I am SO there for William/Kate.

Ahem.

Can we pretend I never said that?
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From:idony_fae
Date:November 18th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
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I don't get involved in political discussion usually, but from a personal perspective I have to say that I agree with much of what you've said here. Due to my medical history I would find it very difficult to get a job, even something low-paid and crappy, which is why I'm studying for my degree in the meantime.

On the other hand though, I am quite concerned by the idea that everyone receiving disability benefit or similar for ill health and/or disability should be in any way 'forced' back into work. I know that I can see, hear, speak; sit, stand and walk without difficulty, and that I can use a computer and answer a telephone, so physically I would be capable of holding down a job. It does feel rather as though people with mental health or learning difficulties have been somewhat overlooked by these new proposals for the benefits system.
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