being pumped out by the government.
Figures slowly being released certainly seem to show that the British economy is back to where it was
in 2008. Much cheering and happiness from our political class.
GDP is up, productivity is up. Balance of trades is looking better. The politicians are cheering. Parliaments
champagne bill has almost doubled since the coalition came to power. Everything is good, stop complaining
you proles and get back to work. Oh yes more people than ever are working as well, the statistics tell us this
so it must be true.
But look at that from the other side, the side of those people who have had no meaningful wage increases
in six years, people who are struggling to find full time work or to earn a living wage.
People who are being reported to be in Fuel or Food poverty in ever greater numbers.
One point four million people on zero hours contracts. Over five million claiming working tax credits because
those jobs that more people have are paying less than a living wage. A 60% increase in the number of working
people claiming housing benefit since the coalition came to power[House of Commons Library], this is now at
3.6% of the working population (30 million in work, 1.1 million needing housing benefits).
Since 2008 average income levels have risen by 8.6%, however cost of living has risen over the same period by
16.9%. In effect a pay cut of 8.3%. [BBC quoting ONS figures]
We have had six years, that is SIX YEARS, of every higher electricity and gas costs, every higher weekly
shopping bills, ever higher rents, an ever higher cost of living. Six years where peoples wages have remained
all but stationary while bills have gone up. The effect of a net decrease in wealth across huge swaths of the
But there have been other impacts that are not covered in official figures. The ruthless attitude across far
too many businesses towards employees. The harsh and all too often cruel approach taken by the coalition
government towards the poor, the helpless and those who need help. The seemingly steady decrease in the
wage offered for new employees, it is rare these days to see jobs that offer more than the minimum wage
even for some technical or skilled roles. Many people chasing few jobs are desperate enough to work of the
kind of salary they would not have considered back before 2008.
Zero hours contracts is one aspect of this. The rise that I see in contract work overall, fewer permanent jobs,
far more part time or temporary contracts. The so called Temp to Perm where you work for three of six months
on a contract with the promise of a big pay rise and a permanent job at the end which never seems to arrive.
People being let go before they have been employed a year or before legal equal employment rules come into
Add in the ongoing effort to strip as many people as possible of benefits, of demonising the unemployed and
taking away their allowance by sanctioning them for the slightest reasons.
Of using thuggish private sector organisations to judge people fit to work on the most ridiculous of pretexts.
Of making people so terrified to be out of work that they will accept the worst conditions and the lowest of
wages out of fear of starving.
The economy may be improving, company profits may be rising, but for most of the population nothing has
changed, They are still significantly worse off. Their wages are not going up enough to cover six years of higher
Economic experts are reporting that it will be 2016 or 2017 before wages start to catch up but this assumes that
the situation we have seen over the last six years is not now the norm as far as employment goes.
Far too many employers have been able to turn their employees into nothing more than Wage Slaves, the
coalition government has reduced far too many people to nothing more than Tax Cattle.
Is this situation going to reverse itself? Are market forces going to mean the rise of wages as more companies
need staff that are not available and so need to raise salaries?
Nope. They will just import them from some other country which is even worse off than the UK!
Six years of treating people as a resource or commodity, to be used and discarded as needed in the best
interests of the company. How many managers now consider this to be the norm, how many companies
are taking a lead from our politicians in the way employees are treated.
All of our political parties use statistics and lies to make their points and all of them are proved to be wrong
almost every time. We have seen the way that poverty is calculated changed to make it look as if less people
are in poverty. We have seen the way in which unemployment is calculated and employment is calculated
used to manipulate figures by all three parties.
We are even seeing the latest brilliant idea from our caring government in that rather than requiring Tax payers
to pay Tax they can now raid the bank accounts and help themselves, or raid joint accounts and take the money
of spouses. The population reduced to Tax Cattle to be used and abused at will.
At least three more years before things are back to the way they were in 2008 in terms of peoples spending
power if, IF, peoples wages and conditions are not deliberately curtailed.
Three more years under what Cameron calls 'Permanent Austerity'.
Three years in which we can only hope that our political class does not continue to allow people to suffer a
steadily falling standard of living.
Three more years of increasing use of Zero hours contracts and other employment contracts, or perhaps these
are now the norm, here forever.
Can we expect our Political Class to do anything?
The Tories have done much to create the situation that leaves so many people suffering so we can hardly
expect them to change things.
The Lib Dems, they are becoming more inconsequential week by week, they have hardly covered themselves
in glory as part of the coalition government and in the eyes of many have simply demonstrated why they should
be kept as a fringe party and well away from the reigns of power.
Labour, what confidence do we have the the Incompetent party can do any better. None. Week by week we see
them making yet another blue sky announcement which only reinforces the idea that they have no idea what they
are talking about. Good intentions combined with economic incompetence is not a good combination.
UKIP? A protest party but sadly lacking in anything approaching a grown up and thoughtful economic plan.
The monster Raving loony party, the Bus Stop Elvis Impersonators?
The Green party? After the sterling job they have done in Brighton I don't think so. Any political party that thinks banning BACON is a good idea will get my vote shortly after scientists prove that Hell exists and is
very very cold.
How did we reach the point where in the Mother of all Parliaments our choice of democracy has been reduced
to the party we think is likely to do not the most good but instead the least harm?
But stop complaining you proles, the economy is getting better.