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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 13:31   #11
Ang
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

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Originally Posted by Colyngbourne View Post
I find the word "hand-out" also suggests that being on benefits is automatically demeaning.
Good point, Col, and I shouldn't have used the term, even in reply. My son is getting EMA because I had a really bad business year 2009-10 and therefore little income. I suppose that's a "handout" of sorts. They're not cutting the main weekly pay as part of the spending review, just the biannual bonus of £100, which I wasn't aware of anyway.

The means testing in this country isn't very robust, I must say. Because of one bad year for me, my son is getting the full £30 per week, whereas his friend is getting £10 in a family of consistently lower income and twice the number of children.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 16:39   #12
Colyngbourne
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

Actually EMA is being axed completely, Ang. I knew about the "bonus" bit being dropped but the whole thing is going. Unsure as yet as to when - there is a rumour that in Scotland, it will go from December. And in England, from the end of this academic year (since students receiving it, get a letter confirming that they will get it until such-and-such a date, and possibly that is a binding contract [though anything is possible with the Coalition]). I think it was going to be stopped anyway in a couple of years as in 2013, isn't the school leaving age going to be raised to 18 anyway so that no poorer student should need incentives/cash support to stay on (instead of dropping out). It won't stop the poorest students being cash-strapped for bus fares or study materials but I don't think that will bother the govt much.

I know the means-testing means that there can be some discrepancies that turn up, and especially when parents are separated but the non-resident parent earns a lot of money. However, I know lots of students where even the £10 has proved valuable support for study; in many cases the money gets spent on bus passes. Our older daughter just got her first payment yesterday as the EMA people had not done the paperwork very quickly, and because of the announcement about tuition fees, she was going to do her utmost to save it all towards university. No chance now of course, and with her summer job finished the other month, not much chance of part-time work to help save up either.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 19:18   #13
Ang
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

Thanks, Col, I was just looking into that as I'd seen elsewhere that it was being scrapped. The article I read earlier must not have been up to date. Well, that will hit us, as I was hoping he could save some for uni, like your daughter was going to do.

Edit: Being realistic, he wouldn't have saved a penny I'm guessing, but still!
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 22:34   #14
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

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Originally Posted by gil View Post
Good point. I had missed that.

However, it's well-known that absenteeism and idleness are 1.5 to 2 times as prevalent in the public sector than in private industry. It is to be hoped that the victims of the cuts will be the ones who are not pulling their weight. (Google absenteeism in public sector workers in uk for plenty examples of slackness.)
Well-known by who? I have not had a day off in over 10 years, (apart from legitimate holidays) and I consistently work above and beyond my job description, as do many, many council workers. Do you know the culture that abounds these days in local government, where you have to have a "return to work interview" if you have been off sick, where you are basically questioned as to why you were off, do you realise that cover may have to have been arranged for you etc. etc, thereby making people feel guilty if they take time off sick? I do get really fed up of this constant denigrating of public sector workers. We are paid a pittance, are accused of being slackers, and now face the prospect of losing our jobs. I think the decisions of this shambolic coalition are disgraceful. They are continuing what they have wanted to do for a long time, in dismantling the public sector. They could have done a lot more to the people who caused the financial crisis, the bankers, but they have made a political decision to attack those least able to defend themselves. If I hear the multi-millionaires Osborne and Cameron telling me "that we're all in this together" again, I will scream. Yes sure we are.

Last edited by Colyngbourne; 23rd Oct 2010 at 1:11. Reason: BY Col : to correct quote tags
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 13:46   #15
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

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Originally Posted by vald View Post
Do you know the culture that abounds these days in local government, where you have to have a "return to work interview" if you have been off sick, where you are basically questioned as to why you were off, do you realise that cover may have to have been arranged for you etc. etc, thereby making people feel guilty if they take time off sick?
I had to endure one of those when I was seventeen and working at Tesco. I'd taken the previous day off with a horrendous hangover, so when my manager asked me why I was off, I told him the truth. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said: "Couldn't you just have lied like everyone else?" Pointless process.

Article today saying two thirds of the cuts will hit women. As an honourary woman (primary childcarer; works part-time; breast implants), I think it stinks. But it's the same here in the Netherlands, and a great deal of it would have happened even if the Labour government had won (in both countries).
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 20:02   #16
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

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Well-known by who?
I am sure you, vald, are the soul of industry. But we are talking averages. My source for the statistics is:
Quote:
(from the Telegraph)
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development says public sector staff take an average of 9.7 sick days a year. In some parts of the public sector, the figure is even higher: some estimates suggest local government workers take 13.5 sick days off every year.
By contrast, private sector workers take an average of 6.4 days off every year.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 20:21   #17
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

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(from Ang) It's fine for you, Gil, who is done with his own major lifetime spending
I don't want to come all "Four Yorkshiremen" on you, but we had our own hardships with 80s mortgage rates and periods out of work, and, as self-employed personnel, we had NO unemployment benefit and laughable sickness benefit that was hardly worth claiming. When working as contractors to a public sector employer (no names) we were frequently the only members of the IT department prepared to react to emergencies at night and weekends. Over the piece, we have earned well, but it's been hard, and we must have contributed hundreds of thousands in tax and National Insurance, while our retirement funds have been decimated by the Gordon Brown's pension tax and the recession. We are NOT complaining. That's life. We feel lucky.
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 11:21   #18
Ang
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by gil
(from the Telegraph)
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development says public sector staff take an average of 9.7 sick days a year. In some parts of the public sector, the figure is even higher: some estimates suggest local government workers take 13.5 sick days off every year.
By contrast, private sector workers take an average of 6.4 days off every year.
This is one of the most blatant misuses of statistics I've seen. Firstly, you're taking directly from a newspaper account, and that article is obviously biased in what it wants the reader to believe. If the figures are correct, we're looking at 9.7 vs 6.4. Somehow, in your mind, because you want to believe it, the uncited figure of 13.5 is more likely the correct one.

As for your Four Yorkshireman comments, I just don't see what that has to do with the issue. You have stated that people like you won't be hurt and those that will be hurt are lazy and therefore deserve it. I was explaining that there are a lot of people in between, and not just public sector workers, who will be hurt.
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Last edited by Ang; 24th Oct 2010 at 12:45.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 19:44   #19
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Default Re: Comprehensive Spending Review

I just composed a detailed reply to you, but it was snatched away by palimpsest, and I haven't the patience to re-compose it.

In essence, it demonstrated that on the only stats I had (from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), the range was 1.515 to 2.109. My posting said 1.5 to 2.0, so I was generous. If that's the average, and some people (like Vald) are working really hard, then some people must be worse than that. No misuse of statistics. Sorry.

The 4 Yorkshiremen was to say that we ALL have problems consequent on our career and lifestyle choices. Some problems are Government initiated. Take the hits and adjust. Don't whine.

That was more brusque than I intended, Ang. I respect your views, but I'm not up for an extended dialogue. I only replied in the first place because Col seemed to expect one.
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