PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

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Stanley
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PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 08 Mar 2012, 06:54

Time we had this back I think.
Remploy factories are to go and the Tory lady says in PMQs that all the 1700 people who will lose their jobs have to do is go out and get new jobs. If it wasn't so tragic it would be laughable. The most vulnerable people in society suffer because of Political and financial ineptitude. Some things never change.
How about the move by some police forces to hand over police powers on the street to private security firms. How can you make profit out of law enforcement without damaging the basic concept?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Bruff » 08 Mar 2012, 10:48

It is fair to note that the major disability groups have seen Remploy as an outdated model for some time, arguing for the disabled to be employed alongside everyone else in the workplace. And so in that respect they are not against their closure, and I have a great deal of sympathy with this. However, these people will have to find alternative employment elsewhere and lets face it, employers do not generally fall over themselves to employ the disabled given that to take just one example, they may have to make adjustments to work premises, if not procedures, to do so. I'm sure I'm not alone either, in noting a coarsening of the debate on disability in this country wholly and quite despicably encouraged by certain quarters of the press, egged on by Ministerial pronouncements. The disabled? Pah! Most of them are on the fiddle, benefit cheats, shysters.

I think there has always been a 'fear' for want of a better word (maybe a 'shudder' with respect to them?) of the disabled as in every case there but for the grace of God. If we are not born with a disability, we are all, every one of us, a second away from the stoke, the cancer, the accident, the life-event manifesting that leads to disability. This is the reality. But I sense this fear or shudder manifesting more and more as a kind of hatred, or perhaps contempt. It is a particular darkness of the soul that encourages this, and it is those at whom I will target my contempt.

Hmmm. Private involvement in the criminal justice system. G4S are a big player here. They run prisons, run transport between police cells and prisons and court. They have tendered for Forensic Services. They will tender to run a police station and pound to a penny will tender for the 'policing' role Surrey and west Midlands plan. There is no reason now why they couldn't offer legal services, as after all Tesco etc could, and likely will, do this. So, G4S could arrest you, hold you in their cells, provide you with one of their briefs, transport you to one of their prisons on rermand, and collect the forensics against you. See where we're going? Why couldn't they offer the judging? Judges have a habit of upsetting Ministers. And juries? It bad for business having these folk away. We could have a panel, run by G4S.

So, G4S arrest you, hold you in their cells, get you a lawyer, take to their prison, do the forensics, take you to court, try you, and sentence you. Mad? Well once of a time, I'd have thought police tendering for private involvement in front-line activities was mad. Oh, and in all of this there is no public accountability whatsoever.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 08 Mar 2012, 11:55

As someone who can legally claim the disabled tag, I welcome the closure of the Remploy units that only seek to reinforce discrimination in the workplace. Also because it means that all that "bonus" money will no longer have to be paid out for the 'work' that the managers do.

I sympathise with the workers, but I am sure that the managers will receive their soft landing parachutes.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Whyperion » 08 Mar 2012, 12:52

How will PCSOs fit into the privatisation model ? ( they do have powers of arrest , the private policemen wont have ).

I am not certain where the cash saving to Govt comes in, they save on pension contributions ( and presumably retirement age goes Up , I think police officers its currently 55 or 60 normally , presumably will go to State retirement age ) , but with VAT payable by constabulary on the services at 20% , there is a 2 to 3 month delay on exchequer funds , indeed may be more due to non recovery of VAT costs by Police Forces ).

Same arguements apply to private prisons ,etc. It is a policy of Conservative to reduce the headcount and staff costs of the public sector , increasing the private sector , which is not the same as reducing Government expenditure significantly.

Privatisation of the armed forces might be useful though.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Bruff » 08 Mar 2012, 14:28

''the private policemen wont have ''

Are you sure about that? I can arrest someone if I want, via citizens arrest. Why couldn't privatised Private Bobby? Which is not an argument to say there's no problem then, as it's the accountability issue along with the other 'private' involvement I mention. I think it more likely that 'there are no plans' for them to be able to make arrests. Hmmmm.

I've spoken on the old site on these issues, but I struggle to see any sense with many policing issues (and the last lot were as bad as this lot). Elected Police Commissioners? Where's that going to lead us? I'd argue elected officials should be kept out of policing decisions. An elected Commissioner is presumably there because they promise to best meet the popular will. But the popular will with respect to policing is often wrong.

What do very many folk say they want from the police, and the politicians echo? 'Bobbies on the Beat'. I think this is one of the least efficient means of tackling crime. I think there's research showing that the average beat copper stops a crime-in-progress about once every nine years. I'd argue they do not deter criminals, because no criminal ever thinks they'll get caught and well, they are criminals*. Flood an area with beat coppers and the crime gets dispersed. If folk think all these flat-foots strolling around are catching criminals day in day out, they couldn't be more wrong.

Basically, on outcomes (and surely that is what we are all interested in), they make hardly an ha'penny of difference. Evidence-based policing is wildly out of sync with the popular will and if you get a Commissioner coming in promising to bend to that, you'll get poor value for money.

*The notion that criminals are deterred by the police seems odd to me. It presupposes that I for example, seeing a laptop in an unlocked car, would have a look round, clock there are no coppers and nick it. But this is a nonsense, surely. I don't nick it as I'm not a robber, whereas a robber would without a thought. [Clearly, if there was bobby 10yds up the road this wouldn't happen, but not even Mr Gordon 'caused the crash 'cos he spent too much' Brown would have spent to put a policeman on every street].

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 08 Mar 2012, 14:49

PCSO's have no power of arrest. I believe that they may detain for up to one hour, and then must be relieved by a serving police office with a warrant card.

I agree with Bruff, police prescence is only so much of a deterrent, and quite obviously a massive misuse of resources. A man in a uniform may make the public feel safer, but really the majority of crime reduction can be done by people being aware and fairly sensible.

Also there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Police can actually do. They can only intervene if they feel a crime is likely to occur, or has already happened. Hence much of Police work should be about solution by implication.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Whyperion » 08 Mar 2012, 20:16

What do we expect from our police system ?
Detection of Crime & Gathering of Evidence , Prevention of Crime ( So Privatisation of that part - home visits to make your place more secure - might free up other police activities ) , a privatised system linked say to a smart mobile phone contact app could replace the PC on the beat ( - getting eyes and ears in the right place is helpful ). The maintenance of public order.

There is also a differentiation between criminal law, being crimes against the state and crimes against the individual which are deemed of interested to the public interest , and civil law - crimes or wrongs (Torts) against the person which are rarely prosecuted in the courts these days.

A state funded private investigating and prosecuting authority on behalf of the individual could be useful.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2012, 05:18

Bit like the NHS debate isn't it, the distancing of government from responsibility. PRIVATISATION OF ARMED FORCES HAS ALREADY HAPPENED IN iRAQ, LOOK AT hALLIBURTON ET AL. (Bugger caps lock!)
I'm old-fashioned, let the state be responsible for the essential infrastructure, that way we have better, though not perfect, control.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 09 Mar 2012, 10:42

Stanley wrote:Bit like the NHS debate isn't it, the distancing of government from responsibility.
Not entirely, to have it the other way would mean Objections on the grounds of Police State, and certain people being above the Law or "more equal than others"

I believe the Police need to be independant, and prosecute the Laws passed in Parliament to become an effective piece of democracy.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Whyperion » 09 Mar 2012, 19:17

You asked what the Town Council did , perhaps they could fund a couple of night watchmen and three day-time runners.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 10 Mar 2012, 10:40

Whyperion wrote:You asked what the Town Council did , perhaps they could fund a couple of night watchmen and three day-time runners.
I believe Cllr Whipp "fell out" with the last town warden, although the actual reasons are shrouded in legal confidentiality. The Town Warden may well have received a sum of money in compensation and to stay quiet. The expense, however, is actually in the accounts.

There are also whispers that Cllr Whipp was involved in the departure of the last Town Clerk too, that cost the town too (in the accounts) although there is a confidentiality agreement.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 11 Mar 2012, 07:16

If by 'confidentiality agreements' you mean gagging clauses they should all be banned.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 12 Mar 2012, 14:36

Stanley wrote:If by 'confidentiality agreements' you mean gagging clauses they should all be banned.
Indeed, but currently breeching the clause leaves one open to prosecution

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 17 Mar 2012, 06:30

Dis anyone pick up the 'Which' survey on agency home care? This is a broken service hamstrung by lack of public funding and it's a national disgrace.
Just been announced this morning that in the budget Wee Georgie is going to announce the end of national wage agreements in public service pay. This means that in a low wage area, public service wage rates will be frozen until they come into line with private sector rates. Not clear who decides what 'private rates' are. Not clear which sectors of public service it applies to. Not clear whether, if private rates are higher, public service rates are adjusted upwards. In other words a fog and being a cynic, I assume this means lower pay. Remember what I said in Politics Corner? The Tories are so predictable! At the moment, it looks as though teachers are the target but the principle is dangerous and could be broadened in scope.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by PanBiker » 17 Mar 2012, 10:15

I heard on the news this morning that the freeze will not be applied as rigorously to those in the civil service. Apparently there has to be incentives to aspire to!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 17 Mar 2012, 10:22

Not entirely sure that the effect will reduce pay.

It might concentrate higher pay in the South East which will increase the North South divide, but not do anything to resolve the question of "Why should you be paid more to work in London?"

Well known fact that higher wages causes population migration, and becomes a self feeding positive feedback mechanism without actually tackling any productivity issues.

As to whether it is a Tory policy, I wouldn't be sure. It is far more likely to be seen as Liberal as it evokes Free Trade in economic terms.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Whyperion » 17 Mar 2012, 15:23

The treasury research claims public sector pay about 8% over private sector. So on minimum wage thats about 50p an hour , £4 a day , or about a grand a year. ( £580 ish after tax and Employees NHI and compulsory pension contribs ). Hardly an incentive to choose between often hard to find and get public jobs , a fair proportion of which need specialist qualifications/ degrees before being considered ). There is a possiblity in my opinion that public sector jobs have shorter working hours (35 to 37.5 hrs compared to 40 to 42 hours , which might be more of a consideration ), and that terms of employment are fairer and more transparent to the employee. A claim by private sector in certain places ( I think Middlesborough has been quoted in the past ) , that too many public sector jobs means they cannot get the (quality) staff they want , holding back expansion. With the increases in unemployment I cannot see that this arguement holds true at the present time.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 18 Mar 2012, 04:49

Whatever the details I'll lay a small bet that the overall result will be lower public sector wages. I have no objection to London weighting, cost of living is higher. What worries me is the tendency to round down to the LCD, not raising wages to a proper living standard.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Whyperion » 18 Mar 2012, 19:45

London area is only 0.8% percent higher , wales about 12%. Supposedly for comparable jobs , Notice they are going to start with Border Control Staff (arent most of them in the SE anyway , maybe a few at Manchester Airport and Hull Docks. Does that mean if I get my parcels routed through manchester UK govt will charge less import duty and post office a reduced handling charge for my outside EU purchases ?

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by EileenDavid » 19 Mar 2012, 08:57

I once purchased something from America I had to pay two lots of duty one in Europe and one in the UK. France has put up the TVA according to Sarkozy it's to do with keeping people employed. The French are not happy so he's also had a pop at the UK for having no industry.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 20 Mar 2012, 05:49

Eileen, I got caught at LHR once, they charged me £40 VAT on my new replica US pilot's flying jacket, the sods!
Sarkosy should look to his own knitting. We have plenty of industry but it suffers from lack of support by government. This started when Maggie decided that she didn't like railways and the service industries were far more profitable than smoke-stack industry. They effectively shut down our heavy industries by neglect. That's why we have lost our pre-eminence in so many fields. It looks as though this mistake has been recognised now and the first green shoots of proper support are growing despite the credit crisis. The basis of all real wealth is still the workers and adding value by manufacturing from raw materials. As Newton Pickles once said "There's not enough people making things!"
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Bruff » 20 Mar 2012, 10:32

On the removal of national pay scales in the public sector, I would have thought that if the methodology to decide on appropriate public/private sector comparators is robust, and the resultant evidence sound, there is a good chance that some public sector roles would be underpaying. One can muse on what Ministers may make of this irritant. That said, I struggle to see how any 'job evaluation' methodology could be designed to make the comparison and so the chance of the policy being evidence-led here seems remote. At the moment, my wife's cousin is in the Freeman in Newcastle having had a heart transplant a week an' half ago; a footballer is in the National Cardiac Centre in London. What methodological comparator will be used with respect to the specialist medical staff dealing with the two of them?

Why was the PM banging on about 'road tax' yesterday? There is no road tax in this country and hasn't been since Churchill got rid of it. There is Vehicle Excise Duty, a levy charged on the basis of how much your car pollutes and a part of policies to tackle climate change. If it 'don't' pollute, you pay nothing; and if it's a big fat gas-guzzler, you pay a lot. With all points in between.

Roads are maintained in this country largely by Local Authorities via general taxation, with the Government giving them the funds. If the PM thinks and intends that the roads are and will, be maintained by a road tax, this makes no sense as the Duty (which I can only imagine is what the PM is, wrongly, referring to when he mentions road tax) is by design intended to fall as near to zero as possible.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 21 Mar 2012, 05:39

The same point occurred to me Richard. If the 'formula' flags up under payment I suspect they will waffle a way round it. As for Cameron and toad tax, I suspect there are two roots, one is the poor quality of research, briefing and decision taking in Downing Street, hence the number of reversals and modification of policies that has been a mark of this administration. Second is the fact that until the financial position stabilises with some sort of clear resolution of the EU problems the best strategy is to keep quiet on important matters and fill the gap by finding straw topics to put up simply to let us know they are still there. The basic problem is that during 13 years out of power the Tories formulated a programme and once they had stitched the coalition together pressed on with their programme ignoring the fact that the political and financial climate had changed. This is why I have advocated that the sensible thing to do was to create a genuine coalition (Like the War Coalition) to thrash out a programme geared to what is in affect a war situation. The difference is that it is global economic war, not a shooting war. But, that didn't happen and in effect we have an administration that is hamstrung as far as major policies are concerned but they haven't realised this. Shifting the deckchairs round is a relatively safe course but does nothing to address the real problems, Growth, the adjusting of social expectations to the new economic reality and the damage that is being done to the least privileged. The changes to the NHS are a case in point, staff have to deal with massive change on top of finding £20billion in savings. It's hard to see how this can fail to damage the service. There is a good case to be made that better savings and improvements could have been achieved by established management in the existing framework.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 21 Mar 2012, 10:24

Richard, with regard to Road Tax, I would simply point you at the Localities Bill.

Nothing is concrete anymore in Local Government

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 28 Mar 2012, 06:25

Mervyn King once more draws our attention to the dangers caused by the PS cuts, long term and youth unemployment and slow growth. A self-feeding disaster building up for the future. He is the only major public figure hammering on about these matters. He is right, read the history of the inter war years and remember 'Thatcher's Children'.
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