Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Kim Sanders-Fisher

The Tory decision to sneak in derisory 1% pay rise for the Nursing staff that have done so much to save lives during the pandemic, even putting their own lives at risk, has seriously enraged people right across the UK as it is so offensive. However, the thing that we must maintain a laser-like focus on, is debunking the lie that there is a massive £300Bn debt to pay back: Richard Murphy’s Video helps tear down this crippling myth. Meanwhile the biased BBC and mainstream Media are peddling the Tories callous Fake News, created to help justify a new wave of rebranded austerity that as usual will target the working poor and the most vulnerable. In the Canary Article entitled “Don’t hate HMRC staff over their 13% pay rise,” they warn of the classic ‘divide and conquer’ tactic being used to turn anger towards each other, detracting from real issue of deliberate inequality perpetrated by our Tory Sovereign Dictatorship. They say “People have been reacting to the news that the government is giving some HMRC staff a pay rise.”

The Canary say “Understandably, they’ve been making comparisons to NHS staff’s 1% increase. But as some people have said on social media, we shouldn’t begrudge HMRC staff a decent raise.” They analyzed the fact “That 13% HMRC pay rise,” noting that “The FDA is the trade union for ‘professionals and managers in public service’. It recently wrote about the government pay deal for some HMRC staff. The FDA said that talks on this pay deal started in July 2020 and now the government and trade unions have reached a deal. The FDA said this was: a three-year deal giving an average pay award of 13% across the term. A 3% increase would be awarded in March 2021 (backdated to June 2020), followed by a 5% increase in June 2021 and a 5% increase in June 2022. It wasn’t just the FDA which was involved. Other bodies such as the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union were too.”

The Canary highlighted that “Some people on social media are upset about it. This is because the Tories are only giving NHS staff 1%.” Rachael Swindon Tweeted: “How on Earth can the government justify a 13% pay rise for HMRC staff while insulting NHS staff with a derisory 1%? And how comes hardly anyone knows about the 13% increase? Sneaky and callous.” Labour Front Tweeted: “HMRC staff receiving a 13% pay rise Anyone else a bit annoyed that NHS staff only got a 1% increase?” But they said “People also made important points. Lina said: I don’t think the argument should be that HMRC staff aren’t deserving of pay raises, but nurses are, it should be give them both pay rises.” Another user, Kaine Milner pointed out: “I think what people are getting at is that HMRC staff aren’t on the front line, in crowded COVID wards, doing 18-hour shifts day after day with very limited PPE. Especially in the first wave when a lot less was known about the virus. NHS should have 13% pay rise and HMRC 1%.”

Danny responding in HMRC’s defense Tweeted: “HMRC payrise has nothing to do with the pandemic it’s to correct 10 years of pay freezes and is coming from existing HMRC budget so is not costing the govt any additional money. It’s also over 3 years. 3% backdated to 2020. 5% 2021. 5% 2023. Really not a big rise when broken down.” But that is the “Divide and conquer” point the Canary are trying to have us recognize saying “Moreover, people pointed out that it plays into the Tories’ divide and conquer agenda, among other things.” Katy Tweeted: “Perhaps an ulterior motive of the government’s 1% pay rise for NHS staff and 13% for HMRC staff is to play the politics of divide and conquer so that the NHS will be easier to privatize.” Responding to Lina’s point re: “…give them both pay rises,” Old Git Tweeted: “This is the game. Treat people with varying degrees of unfairness, and encourage them to resent each other for it.” “Of course, in reality most public sector staff have seen their real-term pay take a hit since 2010.”

The Canary say that “As Unison pointed out, the cost of living (inflation) in the last decade rose by 35.6%. It noted that: The average public sector worker has seen an even steeper 14% decline in the value of their wages. For the public sector worker who has not benefited from any incremental progression in their pay, the cut has been 18%, leaving their 2020 wage over £6,800 down on the value of their earnings in 2009 and the accumulated loss from their wage failing to keep pace with inflation each year standing at over £53,307. So, HMRC staff’s 13% rise across three years barely makes up for a lost decade.” They say “Meanwhile, as one Twitter user said, the situation for nurses is dire.” Tory Fibs Tweeted: “Nurses’ Pay: • Given £3.50 a week rise in pay • But a £1.76 a week rise in tax from Apr 2022 • Inflation to rise by £7.00 a week By next April, nurses will be £5.26 a week worse off. A real terms deduction of £270 from their wages.”

The Canary insists “Let’s not forget the ‘inadequate’ £20 Universal Credit uplift. Nor must we ignore the millions of legacy benefit claimants who haven’t got any increase at all. The number of households living in destitution more than doubled in 2020. But never mind.” They emphasize the stark contrast at the elite end of the scale saying “Because while all this was going on, Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings got a 40% pay rise in 2020. And MPs, meanwhile, got an ‘inflation-busting 3.1% pay rise, bringing their annual salary close to an eye-watering £82k. So we shouldn’t be angry at other workers earning more money. Our anger should be directed at a system and its gatekeepers which allow so many people to live in poverty in the first place. HMRC staff getting scraps off the Tories’ table is the thin end of the wage crisis wedge.”

The Good Law Project just sent me this informative email concerning the latest scam in the ongoing Tory Government corruption it said that: “Buried in the small print of last week’s Budget is what looks like an attack on yet another core constitutional principle: that public money should not be misappropriated to private ends, here the ends of the Conservative Party. What Rishi Sunak said was that he was going to spend the vast sum of £4.8bn on “redrawing the economic map” through a ‘Levelling Up Fund.’ But the evidence suggests much of that money is instead going to redrawing the political map: prosperous areas with Conservative MPs are being prioritized over struggling areas with Labour MPs. Analysis carried out by the Financial Times revealed that Conservative areas were consistently pushed up the queue for money and Labour voting areas pushed down the list. Diane Coyle, the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at Cambridge University, described the bias in favour of Tory seats as ‘pretty blatant really’.”

“Although the Treasury promised it would show its workings they have yet to be published. Professor Coyle was, once again, pretty scathing: ‘I am sure there are civil servants trying to retrofit the methodology to justify the rankings as we speak.’ This is pork-barrel politics on a grand scale. £4.8bn is more than enough to give our 670,000 nurses a pay rise of 25% rather than the meager below-inflation 1% offered to them. We are deeply unhappy at this and have instructed Bindmans LLP, backed by a team of public law Counsel and a leading academic, to write to the Treasury, demanding it makes good on its promise to show its workings. If those workings reveal, as independent analysis suggests, a misuse of public money to benefit the Conservative Party we will issue proceedings without delay. Thank you, Jolyon Maugham Director of Good Law Project.”

It is important to let that shocking ratio they highlighted sink in: public funds to pay for Tory gerrymandering are enough to secure a 25% pay rise for all NHS Nurses! But who else has been excluded from Sunak support packages and more importantly, why were they abandoned? In the Canary Article entitled “Rishi Sunak just made a shocking DWP admission,” they draw our attention to his massive blunder saying “Rishi Sunak just made perhaps the most damning admission of the 2021 Budget. His comment was about the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift. And it actually exposed why he and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) haven’t done the same for legacy benefits. In short, workers are worthy of extra money. Sick and disabled people are not. Campaigner and financial journalist Martin Lewis interviewed Sunak on the Thursday 4 March edition of Lewis’s ITV Money Show. The host was putting the public’s questions to Sunak. And during the show, the question of the DWP £20 Universal Credit uplift came up.”

“The Canary reported that in his Budget, the chancellor said the uplift was staying until September. But as we noted: Some people still claim so-called ‘legacy benefits’. These include Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).” They noted that “The government has not increased their social security payments in line with the Universal Credit/Working Tax Credits uplift. The Oldham Times reported there are 2.2 million legacy benefit claimants, and that ‘three-quarters of these are disabled people’. On the Money Show Lewis read out a question on this. And Sunak’s answer was damning. Lewis said that Clare asked: I’m [a] shielding adult; disabled son for nearly a year; huge extra expenses due to Covid. Why have people who are on legacy disability benefits… not been included in the extra £20 a week [uplift].” It was a valid point that many people fail to understand.

The Canary highlight the fact that “Sunak made it very clear why he and the DWP had not uplifted legacy benefits. He said: The original rationale for doing the temporary uplift in Universal Credit [UC] was to help… people in work but on lower incomes, whose incomes were going to be affected by the crisis. And it’s UC and Working Tax Credit that are the benefits that capture the vast, vast, vast majority if not all of those people.” However they point out that “What he said is not true. First, under ESA people can do permitted work. This is where they can work up to 16 hours a week and earn up to £140. Also, some people aren’t on legacy benefits, but they still claim social security.” But they noted “Back to the Money Show. Sunak then repeated his line on workers: The intervention for UC was to help those in work.”

“Destitute and disabled? Move to ‘UC’,” the Canary try to decipher Sunak’s warped logic, “In other words, the Tories think sick and disabled people don’t need extra money due to the pandemic. But campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) said this is not true. For example, sick and disabled people have needed things like extra PPE and help with the costs of food deliveries. So, as DPAC said: disabled people’s unavoidable expenditure has sharply risen as a direct result of the pandemic. So, what if you’re sick and disabled, on DWP legacy benefits and are destitute? Sunak’s answer was: it is also possible for those that can… [to] transition to UC. But as Jules Pick tweeted: #MartinLewis #RishiSunak wants disabled people on legacy benefits to move to UC to receive the uplift. But they will eventually lose their severe disability premiums, will end up significantly worse off on UC, £80 a week. There’s been zero extra help for those on legacy benefits.”

The Canary accuse Tories of creating “A two-tier welfare state,” saying “Here’s the thing. Sunak said before that the £20 uplift was for ‘low-income households’. So, his admission that the extra money was actually for ‘workers’ is revealing. Because it makes clear that the Tories still think sick and disabled people are ‘second-class citizens. As Rosina Cantaldo tweeted: ‘It’s blindingly obvious this government don’t give two shits about the economically inactive severe disabled. The decision to NOT uplift legacy benefits along with UC is clear evidence. Sunak even looked like he was relishing the refusal.”

But the Canary point out “this is not new. Entrenching a ‘human catastrophe’ In 2016, the UN accused successive UK, Tory-led governments and the DWP of ‘grave’ and ‘systematic’ violations of sick and disabled people’s human rights. The chair of the investigating committee went further. She accused them of creating a ‘human catastrophe’ for sick and disabled people. She also said the situation in the UK had become ‘life-threatening’ for many. Nothing has changed. In fact, Tory contempt for sick and disabled people is now entrenched. It was already violating their most basic human rights. And now, during a global crisis, it has made the ‘human catastrophe’ even worse. Sunak implying workers are more worthy of financial support than sick and disabled people is the thin end of the wedge. Over a decade of human rights abuses has led to this point.”

The ruthless Tory targeting of the disabled is the focus of another Canary Article entitled “DWP horror stories have come to light on Twitter” they expose the massive flaws in what is left of our denuded, chronically failing ‘Social Safety Net.’ They say that “A doctor shared his experience of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Twitter. But he may not have expected the response he got. Because it led to other professionals telling their horror stories of the UK’s social security system. Dr Adrian Heald is a specialist doctor and a vocal campaigner on the NHS and social issues. And he recently turned his attention to the DWP, which has hit the headlines throughout the pandemic. Not least because of the issue of the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift.”

“The Canary recently reported on chancellor Rishi Sunak’s comments about this. Sunak said that the uplift was designed for ‘workers’. So you could read his comment as meaning that him and the DWP think sick and disabled people are second class citizens.” They say “Judging by the story Heald shared, Sunak’s thinking is par for the course. Heald tweeted that: I remember calling the DWP as a patient had to come in due to an emergency, somebody without a medical degree told me ‘If he is well enough to go to the hospital and see a Dr, he is well enough to come in’ – my jaw dropped, I was outraged – Dr Adrian Heald (@DrAdrianHeald) Heald’s tweet seemed to hit home with a lot of people because others were sharing their stories.”

The Canary say that “Some people had supported claimants. Belinda Walker said: I had the misfortune of contacting DWP for a man who lost the ability to write following a stroke. They did not believe it possible and flatly contradicted me. I am Neuro Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with 26 years experience. She still insisted she knew more than me. Another person said: I have had DWP “assessors” question a patient’s diagnosis with absolutely no medical background at all. This was face to face with me supporting the patient because their PTSD was so bad. Claimants and their friends also shared their experiences. JEA Bell said:
I felt hounded back to work after a brain tumor. After my SSP [Statutory Sick Pay] finished, I had to deal with DWP, they were calling me at home, asking about my illness, it was awful. I’d never ever claimed benefits before, it was a horrible experience.”

The Canary report that “Andrea Jane said: People without medical degrees have told me that my many invisible illnesses don’t affect my life on a daily basis, I get fed up of applying for PIP and it getting rejected. Chris said: I know someone who had their benefits stopped as they had to wear a portable heart monitor for 48 hours, they canceled their DWP appt as doc told him he must rest during these 48 hours, DWP was 2 long bus rides away, sanctioned as doc’s advise was too vague. But, sadly, these stories are nothing new,” as they expose “Systemic problems.”

“The Canary wrote in 2017 about DWP sanctions. As it noted, examples of bad DWP decisions include: Sanctioning a man, living with learning difficulties, for not completing his job search on the computer. He hand-wrote it instead, because he did not have the IT skills to use the DWP system. Sanctioning a woman with mental health issues for missing a Jobcentre appointment. This was because her mental health prevented her from leaving the house on that day. Then there was the scandal of DWP staff asking people ‘why they hadn’t killed themselves. And there was the story of a benefit assessor asking someone when it was that they had ‘caught’ Down’s syndrome. Also, the DWP previously had to tell assessors not to ask claimants to show self-harm scars. DWP negligence and cruelty is nothing new. But it seems that after years of disastrous conduct, things have not got any better.”

In the Canary Article entitled “’Uber is not above the law’: MEP slams UK government over failure to protect gig economy workers” they say that a “Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Leïla Chaibi is ‘astonished’ that the UK government is no longer reviewing gig economy workers’ rights following the Supreme Court decision to classify drivers as workers. The French politician, a member of the European Parliament’s committee on employment and social affairs, said: Uber is not above the law and must respect Lord Leggatt’s judgment. The UK Government should now legislate and enforce the ruling made by the Supreme Court. It is important that the ruling is upheld in practice. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is now panicking and has wrongfully claimed that it is not possible to hire drivers as workers on permanent contracts.” Sadly, the people of this country were tricked into abolishing the ‘interference from the EU when they voted for Brexit: so we begin that ‘Nantucket sleigh ride’ to the bottom!

The Canary explain that “Chaibi is a member of the democratic socialist La France Insoumise party. In November 2020, she submitted a draft proposal for a Directive on the legislation of gig economy workers across Europe. And the European Commission started consultations in February. However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy scrapped a review on plans to cut critical rights and protections for workers. And there’s no mention of such a review by the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) either.”

The Canary report that “Andy McDonald, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for employment rights and protections, said: The Government must legislate to bring protection and security to all those in the gig economy. Uber should enforce the ruling of the Supreme Court and recognize that its drivers are workers rather than attempting to dodge the ruling by interpreting it in a way so that it applies to a tiny minority of its drivers, forcing other drivers to litigate for their rights. The government refused to answer Written Parliamentary Questions on whether the slashing of workers’ rights previously being considered by BEIS was within the scope of TIGGR to review.” The Tories have proven that they have no respect for UK or international law; criticism from the EU and the UN is ignored and our Judicial system is coming under attack. While we still have recourse to justice through our Courts, we must protest, challenge and scrutinize, to include demanding a robust Investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election result.

The EU has progressive Socialist thinkers to champion workers’ rights, but they are unable to help our workers here in the UK now that we have officially left the block. Our only hope is that the EU might challenge the decimation of UK workers rights and the blatant exploitation for profiteering as an unfair trade advantage and threaten the rudimentary abysmal Brexit ‘deal’ they struck with us since the UK has already started unilaterally violating the terms that were agreed. The Canary say that “Chaibi ‘welcomes’ the ‘Recover and Rebuild: Power in the Workplace’ taskforce, which formed in February. Spearheaded by McDonald, the taskforce aims to shape a new deal for workers and develop Labour’s agenda on workplace rights. Chaibi is ‘optimistic’ about the European Commission’s proposal which should be available by the end of 2021. However, she’s skeptical of whether this will translate into legislation, citing the example of the corporate lobby in California paying “$200 million to cancel the AB5 law”.

Alarmingly the Canary report that “Uber has spent over 800k Euro on lobbying in Europe in 2019, and it’s held 71 meetings with the European Commission since 2014, most recently in January 2021. Meetings may have been held with lower-level staff, but such information is not published by the European Commission.” But Uber is far from the only ruthless exploiter in the UK’s rapidly expanding gig economy with more workers being switched onto Zero-hours contracts all the time. There are ominous new avenues opening up for the Tory elite to accelerate that lucrative race to the bottom; the latest trick unscrupulous employers are going for is ‘Fire and Rehire. Worse still the Tories much-touted ‘Freeports’ will create deregulated havens for worker exploitation and abuse. This will only continue if we passively accept each new injustice without protest. Reject the Fake News excuse about paying down a non-existent £300Bn debt: we must derail this Sovereign Tory Dictatorship ASAP or have their boot on our necks for decades!