Monday, 10 September 2007

Is this to be Gordon Brown's Winter of Discontent?

Winter of Discontent
This morning Gordon Brown is to address the TUC (Trade Union Congress), the body that represents 66 affiliated unions and nearly seven million working people. According to the BBC, Gordon is going to be telling the unions about his great plans to create 500,000 new jobs. A Government spokesman said: "In total, the government believes that if we are able to implement all of these measures, an extra 500,000 British jobs could be created for British workers."

These measures include:

. Guarantee of an interview for an available job for every lone parent. - Unnecessary there are plenty of jobs - ask the Poles.

. £400 training allowance to help employers train up "fast-track" recruits. - This could help encourage employers to take on people with the right attitude who are short on skills.

. Extending the days that lone parents can continue to receive benefits after starting work from 15 to 42. - A damn good idea, this should have been done years ago. Nothing has done more to stop people going back to work (apart from idleness of course) than people knowing their benefits will stop two weeks before their first wage is paid. It should be extended to all unemployed persons.

. Back-to-work tax credits worth £40 a week, or £60 in London. - In God's name why? they are now working. What have they done that's so special that they deserve yet another government handout at the tax payers expense. They are only doing what the rest of the working population have been doing for years to support them. This is just paying for votes.

Now there are a few things that I would like to highlight at this point:

1) These measures will not create 500,000 new jobs. They could however encourage 500,000 people who are claiming benefits to take up the 500,000 jobs already available.

2) Gordon is to announce this at the TUC. The Affiliates are not there to listen to a Labour Party political broadcast. Gordon is using his allotted time to spout Labour policy, instead of talking about the problems he should addressing- Namely, what he is going to do to stop another Winter of Discontent:

Leaders of some of the country's biggest unions have threatened that co-ordinated industrial action could take place unless bitter disputes over the below-inflation public sector pay offer are resolved. These same unions are warning of a "winter of discontent" similar to the winter of 1978-1979. (Widespread strikes resulted in rubbish piling up in the streets and dead bodies being left unburied. An election was called in 1979 after James Callaghan lost a vote of no confidence in Parliament by one vote).

As a conservative, I would like to see Gordon Brown's failings recognised by the unions, but as a citizen of this country, I do not want to see another Winter of Discontent. Taxes continue to rise, interest rates continue to rise, house prices continue to rise and the cost of living continues to rise, and still Gordon Brown is offering below-inflation public sector pay increases. This government is wasting our money on bureaucracy and quangos like no other government before. They are collecting more taxes than ever before and they still cannot pay public sector workers a fair wage. This is outright incompetence and we desperately need a change of government.

We need a government that can manage the country's finances instead of collecting more and more taxes only to pour them into ever expanding black holes.


Sir James Robison said...

...These measures will not create 500,000 new jobs. They could however encourage 500,000 people who are claiming benefits to take up the 500,000 jobs already available...

This one seems so. The rest seems a sound summation as well.

fake consultant said...

comments and questions:

do i understand that uk workers are paid once monthly? most us workers are paid every week or every two weeks, so this is not as big a problem as it is for the uk, apparently.

the evident solution to too much government would presimably be less government, and we assume you support cutting some of the jobs represented by the quangos you reference.

but we also assume that this would create a winter (and maybe even a spring) of much more than discontent, and perhaps that is why you don't see labour promoting major cutbacks in government employment.