Archive for the ‘big pay rise’ Category

I see today that our glorious leader, ‘Dave’ wide boy Cameron for those who hadn’t grasped the fact that he is not some second hand car salesman, is once again supporting the big cheeses.

Yesterday he distanced himself from debates concerning the Recommendations of the Leverson enquiry. He must be afraid that he won’t be able to carry on his cosy relationship with the Murdochs and their minions if he does.

However, today he has come out to say that he rules out the naming and shaming of large multinational companies who fail to pay their fair share of tax in Britain. Strange, Jimmy Carr was named and shamed but of course, he is just an individual, a little man when compared to the income potential through tax of the likes of Google et al.

Amazon, Starbucks and Google have been mentioned as corporations against whom there ought to be a more aggressive approach. The comments were made as a report was released by the Public Accounts Commitee saying that offenders should be named and shamed by the government as well as being prosecuted rather than being offered ‘sweetheart’ deals.

What does the government get out of this? Do the country benefit? I wonder if the money spent chasing benefit fraud is able to recoup as much as a similar amount spent chasing even one of the global players.

Mr Cameron said, ‘An important part of our tax system is taxpayer confidentiality.’ I heard not a single breast being beaten when Jimmy Carrs name came out. Not that I think he is deserving of any sympathy at all.


Following on from my post here:

I have just been informed that the Police Service that I work for, we can no longer say Force due to its negative connotations, saved £22 million by the end of 2011/2012, a term vague by design I believe. Apparently the service will save another 8 million by the end of this financial year. In total the service in this area have to save £50 million by 2015. So from April 2013 until April 2015 the service needs to save a further £20 million.

In order to achieve this it seems that 400 Officers and 450 support staff will have to go.

We are told that the second phase of the operation to save money, yes it has an operational name and a team to match, is not just about saving money. Yes, that’s right, my Chief Constable has said so. Just because he earns £145,000 (November 2011) does not mean that he can treat his constables like idiots. This phase is apparently about modernising, with less money to cost less money at the same time as saving £20 million. But, of course, it is not all about saving money.

The chief opines that by 2015 ‘… we will look and feel like a very different organisation.’ He goes on to say that he cannot describe the plans in detail, probably because the May fairy hasn’t told him what they will be yet.

I CAN envisage our service in 2015. There will be fewer Police Officers. There will be fewer Police Stations. The Police Stations that do exist will be open for fewer hours. There will be less staff to manage ‘front offices’, custody and scene’s of crime officers.

We will modernise. That probably means another set of computer programmes that cost the earth, do not talk to other system’s within this service never mind those with common borders. No maintenance contract being taken out to save money so no updates provided. A change of personal equipment, different baton’s, … again. In all probability Cheaper handcuffs and less training in Home Office Approved Techniques for restraint.

To shed the 400 officers it is likely that the older more experienced officers will be shed because they are expensive, being at the top of the pay scale. The experience will be gone. The officers will, in all likelihood, be shed because they cannot complete the soon to be introduced fitness tests. I can run all day, I cannot complete the ‘shuttle’ run because this requires constant turning and after an active life my knees don’t like the strain. My job does not entail chasing people. I am a detective. Unlike Chief Superintendent Boyd (‘Waking the Dead’) Inspector Frost and many other TV Detectives, in the last 7 years I have not had to run after someone. I have arrested people, interviewed them, investigated serious crime and never once had to break a sweat. Some would say that is what experience does for you.

I joined the Police at a time when they were recruiting more mature people because there were so many youngsters ‘in the job’. Now, as a cost cutting exercise the more mature among us are likely to be targeted for removal. My pension has been worked for. I have paid 11% of my salary into the scheme. As a consequence of the contribution, in the early years, my family suffered financial hardship. Now, if I continue to work until I am 60, which the government will allow me to do, I will be forced to accept reduced benefits for increased contributions.

If the government do not want me to continue being a Police Officer, pay me off. I have already previously blogged about where money can be found. To the good people of England I would say, do you want a Police Service comprised of students, or would you like some experienced people. I appreciate experience does not equate to good, but new does equate to mistakes. Mistakes lead to wrongful convictions and wrongful acquittals.

I am so pleased that in these times of austerity and belt tightening that those at the very top of the tree are leading by example. Most of the ordinary working people in the UK have had pay rises of less than one per cent over the last couple of years, all doing their bit for the shrinking economy. We are all patting ourselves on the back for our selfless sacrifice for the greater good.

Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, the FTSE 100 CEO’s have managed to husband their resources, save on staff salaries, reduce the work force and award themselves an 11% pay increase according to the BBC.

In 2011 their pay rose by half, according to The Guardian

Noe Thr Telegraph reported today that ‘Michael Spencer, the former Tory party co-treasurer who runs broker Icap, got £13.4 million.’ If my maths serves 11% of 13.4 million is

1 474 000

That is the equivalent of about 67 new Police Officers. 69 nurses, and for a worker over 21 being paid the minimum wage of £6.08 per hour for a 40 hour week (12646.40 for 52 weeks work) a further 116 people could be found work. It will not have escaped your attention that Michael Spencer is, presumably, one of Dave’s mates. A believer in the big society. The Politico‘s lament the rising unemployment figures but cannot find a solution.

How about not taking obscene pay rises, perhaps even reducing or foregoing the odd million pound from your salary on top, and using the cash to create some jobs? I wonder how many people would be able to struggle by on £500,000 a month? What would we spend it on, if Mike could manage to get by on this he could donate 7.4 million to job creation. Now, they would say it is but a drop in the ocean, if all the FTSE CEO’s followed suit it would be a substantial pot. Then of course there are all those who do not fall within the FTSE 100 but still earn in excess of £6,000,000 a year.

Come on Dave, big society, who are you trying to kid. All you want is for the poor to sort their own problems out without inconveniently getting in the way, so you and your chums can party.

Mr Clegg, another posh boy who ought to know better given his parties history has been noticeable by his silence on issues of any importance. Some of the money generated could be used to provide free solar energy for the very poorest, investment in alternative technologies to sustain the country through the impending doom of global warming. Even using the money to research new technologies or to build sustainable housing would be better than having it sit in a fat cats bank account.

What is worse, no union or an ineffective staff association?

The UK government are tinkering with terms and conditions of public sector workers. I can only comment on conditions in the pigpen I’m afraid but I am sure comments can be applied (or at least the sentiments) across the public sector.

I am not particularly talking about pay, although we are all concerned about being able to earn enough to maintain a certain lifestyle hovering somewhere between what passes as poverty in the UK and getting by. There are so many other issues. Tom Winsor, who was appointed by the current UK Government to review pay and conditions, seems to believe that middle and upper management positions in the service should be open to all. I don’t necessarily have an issue with that, I have always maintained that coppers make lousy managers, they don’t have the skills. However, it is also true that managers make lousy coppers. If the middle and senior posts are managerial, which do not involve any input into day to day Policing then a person with no Policing knowledge would be fine. However, one such middle manager post could be to set tactic’s and policy for the Public Order Unit. Now, regardless of a person’s opinion of the efficacy, proportionality of the Police response to Public Order situations, if your house was being threatened by rioters who would you want in charge? An Officer who has spent some years being trained in such situations or a regional manager from a local retail outlet?

The Police Federation, toothless wonders that they are, have posed the question to local MP’s,

‘Would we parachute captains of industry into the army and have them lead troops into battle without them having an understanding of soldiering? So why does he think it will work in the police service?

The UK Government state they want to attract the right calibre of candidate, while reducing the starting salary by £4000 and requiring higher educational qualifications (three ‘A’ levels). The Federation argue that,

‘This will potentially be the end of a police force reflecting the community that it serves, which goes to the heart of policing in this country as not everyone will be able to reach the required standard. Along with our colleagues, we have all served with officers who have not been academically endowed but who could catch and lock up villains with consummate ease using skill and common sense but not ‘A’ levels. They were known as “thief takers” but people like this will be lost to the service if this recommendation is adopted.

I am not sure that the Police do truly represent the community they serve. I work in a town where there is a large Asian community but there are very few Asian officers. What the Fed say appears to say is that the Police must be truly representative of and reflect the composition of the society in which we function. Nonsense. There are always limits, I cannot see the Police employing a partially sighted driver nor a deaf interviewer. Do the Fed suggest that the blind and deaf are excluded from society? I am sure they do not. That this section of the community is not reflected in the Police Service has not been the death knell of ‘the heart of Policing…’ If the educational standard is set then it is probably for sound reasons, like being able to accurately record in writing (in English?) what has taken place so that the witness can be left alone to get on with their life. My written English leaves much to be desired. I have a degree in Law. Education and good written skills, a basic requirement of the job, do not necessarily go hand in glove. I become increasingly frustrated at the standard of spelling, even more than grammer, wrtiien in Police Statements by officers. Sometimes to the point where I have to re write the statement! This has also lead to a culture of, ‘Can you come to the Police Station to make your statement so I can type it, it needs to be typed for court anyway.’ Yes and PC Brain Cell can use the spell check. So is a requirement for basic educational ability outrageous?

There are many other elements to Winsor, introducing a basic fitness test, removing a competency pay from officers at the top of pay scale which will decrease pension benefits while increasing pensionable benefits for senior officers, officers to work to age 60 an increase of 5 years. Of course a person can only afford to retire at 55 if they have achieved a full 30 years in the job and therefore benefit from a full pension. I was a late starter and need to keep going to 62 in order to achieve a 20 year pension!

The Fed point out that Winsor wants to reduce pay of officers who are restricted in the work they carry out, through sickness or injury. Why anyone would be surprised at this measure is beyond me. The Police are paid more than their equivalent in the forces. At present a soldier stands more chance of being shot, blown up, maimed or killed than any Police Officer. The government have reduced payments to injured soldiers and reclaimed ‘overpaid’ salary issued to KIA troops. In fact, is it wrong to pay a person less for doing a substantially different job? I can see the argument that if an officer is injured at work risking life and limb to protect a member of the community we serve there should be no reduction after all the officer was doing his job and should not be penalised for that. But if the reduced ability is not work related …

The fitness test. A lot has been said about this in the UK media. I have watched overweight officers trying to outrun a 19 year old racing snake, it is not pretty, it is not effective. As a more mature person, OK old git, I do not look on the requirement of a fitness test with horror. The military conduct annual (at least) fitness tests. An age / time allowance is given to those of more advanced years. The only real problem I have is that the army are a physical entity. There is time factored in to the work programme for fitness training. In the Police we are stretched for resources. My shift pattern does not have time in it for training, of whatever kind. There is a Gym at the station where I work, funded by the officers themselves. In the last three years I have been able to get to the gym only infrequently. It is in a room 12′ x 12′ and contains some free weights a rowing machine, cross trainer and running machine with a couple of excercise bikes. If all equipment was being used the officers would suffocate because there is no proper ventilation or natural daylight. If I am required to pass a fitness test, time needs to be allocated by the employer to enable me to train. The Police (and therefore the government) make play of the Police family, indeed when I joined my wife and children were welcomed as individuals into the wider Police family. My shift pattern has changed. I now see my wife for one weekend in 6. She works weekdays, even if I am off I cannot treat this as a weekend as my wife works. I have three evenings a week off at the same time as my wife. I would ask, what is work life balance. I do accept that I am fortunate though. My children are grown so they don’t miss out and I have only got about 5 years to retirement.


MP’s salary

Posted: December 13, 2011 in big pay rise, MP, parliament

At a time when most of us are feeling the pinch it is amazing that MP’s are confirmed to have received pay rises equivalent to double the average male earners pay rises. A link to the article in the Daily Mail which I don’t usually read.–twice-fast-average-earnings.html
When I accessed this article I noticed another where the MP’s are trying to reinstate the second home allowance as providing value for money. This is unbelievable. My pay has stagnated for years, my pension is being reduced, I am being made to work longer for less. I am fortunate that my working conditions are good but I am constantly expected to do more with less. There is no overtime to be paid but I have more work that I am expected to do than I can achieve in 8 hours. The most depressing thing is that I know that I am more fortunate than many people in the country.