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Austerity porn

June 23, 2015

I have been in hospital.  Five days, as it happened, instead of the scheduled one or two.  (Yes, thanks; it seems, fingers crossed, that I’m clear of the cancer now and just have to get over the op itself and go back for monitoring every few months)

So there was this moment early on when I was being held up by, I think, four nurses (I was on the really good drugs at that point, so I’m a bit hazy about the detail) and someone was doing unmentionably personal things for me, and I recall feeling it was very very important that the nurses should know where I was coming from.  I explained in a drug-induced haze that I wanted it to be very clearly understood that I thought it was an obscenity for MPs to award themselves a ten per cent pay rise when nurses such as themselves had been on the frozen-or-one-per-cent rule for so long.

I thought about that this morning, when the news story was all about foreign nurses perhaps having to return to their country of origin after six years if they weren’t earning more than £35k.

There’s a simple way round that.  Surely anyone who has been in nursing for six years ought to have progressed up the scale to £35k?  Reinstate increments.  Pay experienced nurses £35k minimum.  There.  Problem solved.

And another thing.  The idea that there need to be cuts in Working Tax Credits of £12bn or so out of a £30bn whole.  You know, that one I support.  It’s absurd that anyone in work should need to be supported by the taxpayer.  Work should pay.  Which means that employers should pay.  Which, surely, means the best way of cutting the welfare bill is to increase the minimum wage substantially, and then keep it topped up by inflation.  Which would transfer the burden of those WTC payments from the taxpayer to the employer, which is where they belong.  Isn’t anything else just, well, corporate welfare?

One comment

  1. […] However as the row about tax credits has been in the news I have been trying to clarify my own thinking about the subject.  Because I think that tax credits should – ultimately – wither on the vine, because I think that they can be a form of corporate welfare, allowing bad employers to pay poverty wages and let the taxpayer pick up the bill.  So I believe that increasing the minimum wage and decreasing tax credits is the right thing to do, and have said so before. […]



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