Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Prisoners won't be getting a pay rise. 10p tax?

The BBC are reporting that prisoners are not going to get a planned pay rise. The rise, which has disappeared off the government website, would have taken the minimum wage from £4 to £5.50/week.

Ministry of Justice said:

"The issue as to whether pay rates should be increased is now being reviewed as part of [prison minister] David Hanson's proposals for a new compact balancing the opportunities we give to offenders to turn away from a life of crime with what the community is going to expect of them in return. "That means meeting certain standards of behaviour whilst in prison and on release, for instance getting off and staying off drugs."
Shocker - another government review. Whenever this government haven't got a bloody clue what they are doing, or they want to hide the truth, or they just want to put off a contentious policy until a more fortuitous time (i.e. after local elections) they announce yet another sodding review. I wonder if this U-turn on prisoner pay has anything to do with the government trying to find money to compensate those who have lost out to the 10p tax rate. Or is it seen as a bad time to announce a pay rise for prisoners just before the local elections. Another vote winner that would be - we're going to rip millions off in tax and give prisoners a pay rise. No wonder it has suddenly gone to review. How much would you bet that we see this pay rise sneaked out on a bad news day after the local elections?

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