Monday, May 17, 2010

David Cameron declares war on public sector pay

Yeah Dave, talk to the hand; the face ain't listenin'. The CoalitionGraph really is scraping the barrel with this suckminster offal, so let's just fisk this one, for the hell of it. (I promise not to make a habit of this. But let's just set the tone for the ongoing AngloAustrian assault upon the 'Glorious Coalition', perhaps the worst government this country has seen since 1687.):

Out of control hand-outs, which this year will be paid to three-quarters of senior civil servants, are to be restricted to high performers.

High performers? In government? You've got to be joking. Show me a 'high-performing' civil servant, David. Show me a 'high-performing' project they've been working on. Just one.

Under the terms of Whitehall contracts signed by Labour ministers at the height of the recession, bonus payments can not be cancelled by the incoming Government.

Oh this is ridiculous. You tell them you're cutting their pay. And if they don't like it and take you to court over contractual wrangles, you sack them instead. How hard was that?

In future, however, windfalls across the public sector will be restricted to employees who have performed “exceptionally well,” with only the top 25 per cent eligible for the payments.

'Exceptionally well'? Simply defies belief. Just which government program in the last 100 years has ever risen above the mediocre? Even Concorde, the jewel in the crown, was ultimately a gigantic flop, with nothing coming from it except long-winded pompous stories from Jackie Stewart and David Frost about how it made their lives easier, better, and richer. Thank you, Sir Johnny Taxpayer, for giving up so much in order that David Frost could make more money in America.

A separate commission will limit pay for the heads of state bodies to no more than 20 times that of staff on the lowest salaries.

Oh, dear Lord. And so now you've given all the Sir Humphreys an incentive to find all the lowest paid people in their departments and to give them all a 20% pay rise. You couldn't make it up.

And a taskforce, to be launched on Monday, will begin examining all Government expenditure to seek ways to cut back on “irrational” spending.

Well, perhaps you could make it up. All government spending is irrational. All of it is based on whims. Government cannot calculate because it does not have to generate revenue in a free market. It simply helps itself to whatever it can get away with, and then splurges this on pet projects, lining the pockets of bureaucrats and politicians, and buying voter support for future theft, mainly from the intellectual Guardian-Reader class.

It will identify “poison pills” - spending commitments entered into during the “dying days” of the last government. George Osborne, the Chancellor, will within days set out the broad areas where he anticipates he will be able to find £6 billion in efficiency savings.

Oh, that's nice isn't it. We have ministers of the crown deliberately trying to wreck future governments, and the livelihoods of the people of this country. If these 'poison pills' are actually discovered (which I doubt), the perpetrators ought to be thrown in the Thames, with large lead weights attached to their ankles stamped with the word 'Traitor'.

And £6 measly billion? Please. That is just noise. From a spending budget of £700 billion, at least £200 billion needs to be shaved off (and I speak there as a 'rational believer in government' as opposed to being a hard-core anarcho-capitalist). Obviously, as a hard-cored anarcho-capitalist, about a £700 billion pound cut ought to do the trick.

Fuller plans are due to be set out in an emergency budget next month, which will be followed by a comprehensive spending review .

In the fullness of time, at the appropriate juncture. I bet Sir Humphrey is laughing in his Pall Mall club about this one.

The Prime Minister said that since taking up their new posts, his ministers had been horrified at the spending decisions taken by their predecessors.

Shocked, shocked, to hear that government waste has been going on here. Oh no, there will be no more of this. You did book First Class for the flight to Washington, didn't you?

"From the large to the small, we are going to take action to stop the very bad decisions that were taken in the dying days of the last Labour government,” he told on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

When you tell us what these actions are, do pray let us know.

"What we have seen so far are just individual examples of very bad procedures and bad behaviour, spending decisions taken in the last year or so of the Labour government that no rational government would have done - giving something like 75 per cent of senior civil servants bonuses after everything that's happened in the current year.

Yes, we will get the civil service to work out a better plan. Pass the Brandy, Sir Clive.

"That's not a fiscal stimulus. It is a crazy thing to do. We are beginning to find individual decisions like that." By cutting mandarin bonuses by 65 per cent, £15 million a year will be saved for the public purse.

£15 million? A whole £15 million? So, that's about an hour's worth of government borrowing saved. What are you going to do to save the other 23 hours of borrowing, planned for today?

While the figure will not make a significant debt in the £167 billion deficit, Conservatives say that the bonus payments are symbolic of the lack of rigour in Whitehall under the last government.

Yes, it's all symbolic, a mere bagatelle. Which is why this year we will be cutting £167 billion from government spending... well, actually, we won't be cutting anything at all, and we may actually have to increase government borrowing to £200 billion, to cope with all the unemployment caused by New Labour. But we are in favour of the symbolism of cutting government spending. It's all about principles, don't you know?

A No 10 source said that cancelling the pay-outs should be seen as an “emblem” of the new coalition Government’s desire to get spending within the public sector under control.

Yes, 'emblem'. That's a good word. It's almost as good as 'pledge'.

The pay commission will be chaired by Will Hutton, an economist and former newspaper editor.

Ye Gods. The man whose face is never out of the government trough? The man who never saw a tax rise he didn't like? The man who never saw a government spending program he didn't approve of? The man who loves Galbraith? The man who loves Keynes? Dear God, please save us all.

Its remit allows for wage reductions for those at the top of the salary structure, and there must be no overall increase in overall public sector pay as a result of the levelling process.

So, they're not going to cut public sector pay, at all. Nice.

Obviously though, once we have levelled-up all of the bonuses into basic salaries, to keep up appearances, these hard-working Rolls-Royce quality staff will need other incentives to work genuinely hard, in the national interest. We haven't worked out what to call these new incentives yet, as we need to avoid the word 'bonus', but we're working on it.

The pay rules will apply across Whitehall, local government and the NHS, but, to the frustration of the incoming Government, can not be enforced in the BBC because it is an independent body.

Who owns the BBC then? Does it own itself? If so, by what right does it impose private taxes upon the rest of the nation? If it is a public body, then the government owns it. If the government owns it, they can do whatever they like with it. If it's really a problem, Dave, just cut their license fee in half. Or even eliminate it entirely, and make these Guardian readers stand on their own two feet. That way, they really can be independent.

There has been growing anger about the level of remuneration in local government – last month it emerged that 31 town hall chiefs were paid more than the Prime Minister. The number picking up six-figure salaries rose by 14 per cent last year. Frank Field, the right-leaning Labour MP, confirmed that, in addition to Mr Hutton’s work, he was in discussions with the Prime Minister about chairing a separate inquiry into poverty.

Just impose a ceiling on the spending levels of each local authority, and impose a maximum rate for any household or business to pay. Then privatise everything that moves, at a local authority level, and everything that can't move, and then privatise everything that's left. How simple is this? How simple can it be? Oh no, I wouldn't be stepping on any vested interests, would I?

As the Government begins the task of tackling the swollen state, the Office of Budget Responsibility taskforce, headed by Sir Alan Budd, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, will examine every area of Government expenditure.

Yes, and I'm sure he'll require a whole new quango to do it, and about ten years.

Ministers have already been shocked at a number of public expenditure “landmines” left behind by their Labour counterparts as what they consider to be a “scorched earth” policy by the outgoing government.

Well then, send in some land-mine disposal operatives, and blow them all up. Then find the rogues responsible, and chuck them in the Thames, as earlier, perhaps covered in tar and feathers for fun.

Vince Cable, the new Business Secretary, told the Sunday Times: "I fear that a lot of bad news about the public finances has been hidden and stored up for the new government. The skeletons are starting to fall out of the cupboard."

Do let us know what they are, as you find them, and then announce how you will take the saved money and plough it into tax cuts to re-grow the economy.

David Willetts, the Business Secretary, added that Labour had left behind "not so much an in-tray as a minefield". Writing in the News of the World, Mr Osborne said: “What a mess they’ve left behind.

And so, this 'Rolls-Royce' civil service, the one you bleat endlessly about, let this happen? A clear case for sacking every one of them, I would have thought, for gross negligence.

“The national debt is soaring, wasteful spending is everywhere – and the news on the day I was appointed that 53,000 more people are unemployed was a stark reminder of the dire state of the economy.

Caused by the British government, and which will fail to be fixed by the British government. The markets are going to have to do it instead, when they finally stop lending to these idiots. When these idiots then resort fully to the printing press, to really ramp up inflation, we will then clearly see what a shower they are.

Because it truly does seem that this 'Glorious Coalition' really does not have the spunk for the massive government spending cuts required to get this country back on an even keel. They are going to keep spending like Billy-O, until the money runs out. And then they're going to print the money, until the money stops being able to buy anything any more.

“Labour brought Britain to the edge of bankruptcy and left everyone but themselves with the bill.”

No politicians ever have to repay any bills they ever run up. They simply hand it on to the serfs. And it was the British government which did this, not the Labour party. The Labour party simply served as the useful clowns of the British government, which wasted all of this money on itself. They all ought to be slung into the Thames, every last civil servant one of them.

Mr Cameron said that Sir Alan’s audit would help identify the “difficult decisions” which would have to be made in most Whitehall budgets in order to reduce the record state deficit.

'Difficult Decisions'? A whole election was fought over a measly £6 billion. Even cutting that is going to cause the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and AngloAustria's prediction is they won't even be able to cut that much, and even if they do, they will re-spend it on unemployment benefit. It's pathetic.

He added: "We have a budget within 50 days, which sets out the total spending envelope over the next three years. "Then we have a proper spending review taking place over the summer and into the autumn where we work out how to distribute these difficult decisions between the various departments."

Yes, Sir Humphrey-ese again. 'It's a difficult decision, minister. Dare I say, even a courageous one.'

But Mr Cameron’s promise to tackle the public sector came as he risked accusations that he was alienating core Tory voters by boosting capital gains tax in order to fund a Liberal Democrat policy to reduce income tax for low earners.

I do wish the beastly Tory party serfs would stop ragging Dave on this. Don't they know he has a government to run. And those limousines and those leather seats don't come cheap, you know.

He said that second home owners were not “splendid” for the economy, and that taxing them at a higher rate – which experts predict could reach 50 per cent – would help the “fairness agenda”.

Oh Bejesus, vote conservative, get full-blooded politics-of-envy socialism. No doubt, all those MPs will be giving up their second, third, and fourth homes, as an 'emblem' of their beliefs that owning more than one home is evil. No doubt all these wealth-hating Liberal Democrat MPs will be giving themselves £10,000 pound a year salaries, to be at one with their brothers in the proletarian class.

No? Well, that's the problem with wealth haters, isn't it. They hate everyone having wealth. Except when it comes to themselves.

The bonus restrictions will hit around 4,200 people senior civil servants and 1,100 NHS senior managers. The average bonus for civil service directors was £12,700 last year, while NHS managers received up to 7 per cent of their salary. Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Minister said it was right that the most highly paid civil servants "play their part" in reducing the public sector pay bill.

'Play their part'? These are the bounders that caused the mess in the first place. How about sacking half of them and then seeing if we miss them? How about sacking all of them and then seeing if we miss them?

"An effective system will reward the best performers and provide the right incentives for all to get the best for the taxpayer," he added.

Oh no, they're actually going to start increasing civil servant pay again, at the appropriate juncture.

"There is no place in the modern civil service for a presumption of good performance. Rewards must be earned through excellence assessed through a hard-headed and objective appraisal process."

Yes, an objective appraisal process designed by civil servants, managed by civil servants, for civil servants. Marvellous.

Get me to do it, Francis. I'll give you an 'objective' incentive plan. "Listen you slackers, if you don't walk out the door right now, and never come back, then I've got a pot full of tar, a bag full of feathers, a wagonload of lead ankle-weights, and the Thames is right outside. Whaddya wanna do, punks?'

That ought to do it.

Mr Cameron said that he was also determined to cut the previous government’s £1.5 billion for management consultants.

Notice, rather than use the word 'eliminate', Dave uses the more flexible word, 'cut'.

Yes, he's going to cut it to £1.49 billion pounds, with an acceptable 10% uplift due to the inflation caused by the last Labour government.

What an absolute shower. And that's just the CoalitionGraph for running this bilge.

The politicians and bureaucrats who are trying to run this scam by us, are beneath even the level of scum.


AL said...

i think the only end can be when the uk is fully bankrupted and the paper currency these scum are paid with becomes worthless.. in the mean time i will have my gold, silver and oil!!!

Archie Dean said...


For what it is worth, I think you are right. Complete collapse is the only way out, with meaningful reform now impossible within the current set up.

Trouble is, I'm far from convinced that the (in the end inevitable) collapse is coming any time soon. My feeling is that there are parts of the world soon to embark on a boom the likes of which has never before been seen. The crumbs off these tables have the potential to enable our own utterly corrupt model and its supporting regimes to survive for a further round of general economic parasitism. Given however, that the whole world is now wedded to the Western economic model the writing is, at the very least, on the wall!!

It's a sobering thought is it not, that given the chance to emigrate from this blighted Isle to either, say, China or the U.S.A., it is the former that now looks in many ways the better option.

(Must try and persuade the kids to take up learning mandarin..(-:))


Jack Maturin said...

Good man, AL.

Archie, 'a boom like we've never seen before' is what they want. But this time they're not going to get it. The party is over, the game is up. It's taken 40 years for the world monetary system to get to this point, after coming off the US-based Bretton-Woods gold standard, itself a travesty of a proper 100% reserve gold system, but we have reached the end of the road. Every new £10 pounds of government stimulus is having less and less impact. It used to have £10 pounds worth of impact (or slightly less). Now they're spending £10 pounds of printed money and getting £2 pounds of output back. This figure is dropping all of the time. Which is why all these unemployment figures and inflation figures and growth figures are proving such shocks to the establishment. They think they've done enough to re-engineer a boom. Considering how much they have spent, the resulting 'growth' figures have been absolutely miserable.

What we have now is a government bond bubble. And when this one bursts, there will be nobody and nothing left to bail it out.

The crack-up boom is coming.

Timing? Very hard to say, obviously.

I think we have three possible roads. My money is on road one:

1. Stagflation. Inflation around 5-15%, permanently, with government reported unemployment in UK around 4 million - real unemployment around 6-7 million. This will end when the money runs out, and paper money stops being worth anything. We will muddle our way through, after about 10 years, to some kind of metal-backed financial system. (Led perhaps by the Chinese and the Arabs).

2. Hyperinflation. Unlikely, but possible. All of the optimistic growth figures which the government is relying on fail to come to pass and they just cannot bite the bullet on cutting government consumption spending. They pay for everything with printed confetti. Inflation, 20-50%. End result? Impossible to say. Exit from EU and replacement of Pound with new gold-based currency the best result. Entrenchment within fascist EU and usage of new world paper currency a strong possibility, though this will fix nothing and will offer about six months of hope before it too collapses.

3. Hyperdepression. With upcoming tax increases, failure to cut government spending, and business collapse, rising interest rates caused by government finding no buyers but refusing to contemplate hyperinflation, shuts down most of British industry. Unemployment 10 million+, even according to doctored government statistics. Outcome? Absolutely impossible to predict. Some kind of revolution, I would say. Let's hope it's peaceful.

There's no way any of this is good. That's because if you drink three litres of whisky, the morning after is always going to be painful.

The best solution?

The absolutely cut government spending to the bone. To shave 200 or 300 billion off government consumption spending, and to do this by privatising everything that moves. To generate massive tax cuts to stimulate British entrepreneurship funded by massive government spending cuts. BBC sold off. Most local authority 'services' completely privatised. To stop printing money. To prevent the future printing of money by adopting a 100% gold reserve standard.

Won't happen, I'm afraid. Democracy guarantees it won't happen. There are just too many pressure groups and too many pressure points on politicians to stop them doing the right thing.

So it's down routes 1, 2, or 3 we go. Just prepare yourself for the ride, whatever happens. Best solution? Move to Asia. Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai. Take your pick. Or go to a resource rich country, or free country. Norway, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, UAE, etc.

Archie Dean said...


"'a boom like we've never seen before' is what they want. But this time they're not going to get it".

Not here in the UK they're not, I agree entirely, but what about the likes of Brazil, India, China, Asia generally, whose coming 'booms' might just be sufficient to provide the 'loose change' necessary to keep our own tilting edifice upright for that little bit longer than might otherwise be the case?

In respect of the UK generally, I reckon that when (if?) a 'recovery' appears here it will likely be limited in scope, and confined to areas such as the South East.

As for flight, about which I ponder on a regular basis, I am fortunate enough to have dual nationality with one of the above mentioned States - which is handy -and I have previously been sorely tempted on two or different occasions over the years. Trouble is, reports from the the region suggest that though the opportunites for the children are likely to be superior when they finally arrive at working age the place is actually about as free as we are - it's just warmer, or should that be hotter?

Ho Hum!!


Jack Maturin said...

Following Doug Casey's advice, the BIC countries (avoid Russia, it's too volatile and over-controlled) should be where the action is.

Watch China though. Their stupid communist government have hitched too many wagons to America. That link will break. When it does, China will endure a recession. But they'll be through it in a relatively short period, and start consuming their own production rather than flogging it to the U.S. for nothing but paper confetti in return.

All these places want to work, they produce, they have little welfare, the family is more important than the state, they invest, they save, and they have a fondness for gold and silver. If I was a single man, I would go for Hong Kong or Singapore, learn Mandarin, and take my chances.

I would offer to clean Jim Rogers' shoes in Singapore, for free, and see if he can offer me a job carrying his bags! ;-)

Though I fear my Celto-Scandinavian genetic heritage would make me begin to suffer from the humidity and heat, after a while.

So then it's make a few quid in Asia, then off to Tasmania, New Zealand, or Vancouver, once the heat has got to me. Assuming I could speak Mandarin by then, I suppose China Town in Vancouver would be the place for a trans-Pacific import-export business, with a pad across the water in North Vancouver.

Doug Casey likes Argentina, of course, so maybe give that a thought? Obviously, you'll need to have some skill/business where living in Argentina is a starter. International Gold/Oil/Silver Geologist ought to do the trick!

The only reasons to stay in Britain are:

1. Emotional
2. Baggage
3. Historical attachment

Aside from that, we are a basket case.

There could be some hope, however, if Scotland goes independent. They we can detach Northern Ireland as an independent Ulster, to go their own way, and detach Wales too. The Welsh hve wanted freedom for 800 years, since Edward I, and hate the English, and would rather be bastards than Englishmen. So give their freedom back to them. They can keep the Prince of Wales, too.

We'll keep Harry, in England. Then we'll have a King with spunk, rather than his nancy boy brother.

Who can the Scots have? Well, Charles likes a kilt. Or maybe they can track down that Stuart descendant in Australia who works on the sheep farm, and get him to take on the job?

Ulster is tricky, of course. But there must be someone who'll want the job? Someone called 'Brian' might do the trick.

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