Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014 Posted by Jake 1 comment Labels: , , , , , , , ,
Is it time to stop bashing bankers? Have the crooks already been biffed out of the ring? Are we just hindering the new saintly bankers? As they clean up after the few bad apples who spoiled it for everyone else?
Of course not. And in saying this we are in good company:

Even the Governor of the Bank of England no longer believes in the "few bad apples" theory of rotten bankers. In November 2014 the Governor, Mark Carney, said:

"The succession of [banking] scandals means it is simply untenable now to argue that the problem is one of a few bad apples. The issue is with the barrels in which they are stored."

The Bank of England tweeted Carney's sentiments to its 120,000 or so Twitter followers to make sure as many as possible heard. Here it is, so you can retweet it too:
The Treasury minister responsible for the City of London said in July 2014:

"I think there's quite a long way to go to really change the culture.... I think we are still going to see a lot of cringeworthy announcements."

A report on "The Culture of British Retail Banking" in November 2014 by the Cass Business School and the think tank New City Agenda (founded by cross-party luminaries) stated banking suffers from:

"A toxic culture decades in the making [that] will take a generation to clean up."

This same report refers to an ethics study done in June 2013, several years after the banking crash, showing the big retails banks still swimming in a red sea of bad ethics.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014 Posted by Hari 1 comment Labels: , , , , ,
Fee explains the real story to KJ...

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
300,000 paid less than minimum wage. Yet in the past year, no companies were prosecuted
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for the Office for National Statistics recently found that about 287,000 workers were paid at less than the minimum wage in 2012, although the TUC puts the figure closer to 350,000. But despite ministers’ claims that the government is getting tough on under-payers, the last successful criminal prosecution was in February 2013. That was one of only two prosecutions during the government’s entire term of office to date, according to figures given to parliament. The cases involved the imposition of fines to the value of £3,696 on an opticians in Manchester and £1,000 on a security company in London. Failing to pay the minimum wage was made a criminal offence in 2007. Under Labour, seven organisations were prosecuted, including Torbay council. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that only the most serious breaches of the national minimum wage are prosecuted. But because the average cost of a successful prosecution was around £50,000 HMRC believed it was preferable to focus on recouping wages for workers through civil penalty powers. HMRC conducted 1,455 investigations in 2013-14, securing over £4.6m in wage arrears for over 22,000 workers. The number of HMRC staff enforcing the minimum wage now stands at 194, which is 40 more than in 2009-10. GUARDIAN

Business organisation IoD attacks 'excessive' £25m pay deal for new head of BG Group (British Gas)
A proposed £25m pay package for the new head of oil and gas giant BG Group has been branded "excessive" and "inflammatory" by the Institute of Directors (IoD). Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said Helge Lund's deal would damage the reputation of UK business. The IoD acknowledged its criticism was strong, coming from a body whose job is to promote the interests of UK firms. Speaking to the BBC, Walker said: "We think in any terms this £25m pay settlement is grossly excessive, it will inflame public sentiment , it will be a red rag to the critics of capitalism." He added that the timing of the deal, so close to a general election, could put executive pay on the political agenda. "It damages the reputation of British business as a whole to behave in this cavalier fashion, that has no regard for strongly held public sentiment... this is six months before a general election, in which you have an opposition that is already campaigning vigorously against big business." Mr Walker said the £25m sum was especially excessive given BG's size. Chief executives at the much-larger Royal Dutch Shell and BP have smaller pay packages. The IoD has raised eyebrows before with criticism of pay and bonus issues at Barclays and Sports Direct. But an IoD accepted that this BG criticism was its strongest yet of a major company. Some BG shareholders have also voiced concern about the size of the annual pay package being offered by the FTSE 100 company. The Investment Management Association, a body representing shareholders, issued a "red top" alert - a warning about potential corporate governance breaches. BBC NEWS

European Commission boss Juncker on defensive over Luxembourg tax deals, struck when he was PM
Jean-Claude Juncker’s fitness to head the EU’s executive for the next five years came under lacerating attack in the European parliament on Monday evening, with British, French and Italian far-right and populist leaders denouncing his record in facilitating massive corporate tax avoidance when  he was Prime Minister of Luxembourg for almost two decades. The details of Luxembourg’s record as a centre for tax avoidance came in leaks of more than 28,000 documents that revealed how the authorities, headed by Juncker, reached agreements with more than 300 global companies allowing them to minimise their liabilities.  But despite the damage to Juncker’s credibility the leaders of the biggest caucuses in the parliament, the Christian and social democrats, made plain that they supported him and sought to use the debate to turn their fire on the anti-EU far right. Meanwhile, Luc Dockendorf, a Luxembourg diplomat with the United Nations, emerged as one of the few figures within the Grand Duchy establishment to voice criticism of the country’s record on taxing multinationals. Writing in the Luxembourger Wort, a paper traditionally supportive of Juncker, he and Benoît Majerus, a historian at the University of Luxembourg, said: “We’ve been living at the expense of others. Not just other states, but other people, like ourselves, who have been paying their taxes, while corporations in their own countries have been dodging them. It is no longer possible to pretend that the Luxembourgish model has no negative consequences for other countries.” Gabi Zimmer of Germany’s hard-left Die Linke pointed out that 22 of 28 EU countries operated tax avoidance schemes similar to Luxembourg’s, if not on the same scale. But she blamed the commission chief for encouraging the practices: “It’s the Juncker system, that’s the problem.” GUARDIAN

MPs back opposition bill in attempt to limit NHS 'privatisation'
Under the bill, compulsory tendering for NHS contracts would end and NHS hospitals' income generated by private patients would be restricted. It would restore ultimate responsibility for the NHS to the health secretary, stop NHS hospitals earning up to 49% of their income from private patients, and would exempt the NHS from an EU-US trade treaty known as TTIP. Critics fear TTIP could lead to American companies suing future governments for reversing privatisation. Those who voted in favour of the bill included two Conservative and seven Lib Dem rebels. The bill also drew support from newly elected UKIP MP Mark Reckless, saying he had previously been "guilty of having believed the undertakings I was given by those on the government frontbench" about the NHS reforms. Although MPs backed it in a vote by 241 to 18, as a private member's bill – brought by Labour MP Clive Efford -  it has only a slim chance of becoming law. But shadow health secretary Andy Burnham promised that even if the bill did not become law, Labour would repeal the 2012 Act. BBC NEWS

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014 Posted by Jake 3 comments Labels: , , , , , ,
There has been a lot of talk about fracking the UK. Our government is so keen it has considered changing the law on trespass to make it easier for companies to frack under our properties. 

Would it be a good thing? Even if there is absolutely no risk bits of our green and pleasant land  may disappear down multiple sinkholes?

The graph below from a parliamentary report, "The Impact of Shale Gas on Energy Markets", shows how fracking caused the price of gas to plummet in the USA. Benchmark natural gas prices in the USA (Henry Hub) and the UK (National Base Point (NBP)) were about the same until the Americans got down to some serious fracking.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Tuition fees: Three quarters of students won’t be able to pay off their debt
Student debt is now so high compared to average salaries that many graduates in respectable public sector professions will be unable to repay their fees even by the end of the 30-year repayment period, the Higher Education Commission warns. This funding "black hole" is forcing the Government to indirectly subsidise higher education writing off billions of pounds in student debt - even though the point of £9,000 a year fees was to make universities less reliant on the taxpayer. The commission, an independent body set up to monitor higher education, concludes that the current university fees system offers the “"worst of both worlds" to students, universities and the Government - and warns that some institutions are now at risk of "failure". According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the average student debt will be £44, 015 - higher even than the US. "The Commission fundamentally questions any system that charges higher education at a rate where the average graduate will not be able to pay it back... We are deeply concerned that the Government may have created a loan repayment system where, for example, a teacher is unable to secure a mortgage at age 35 because of the high level of monthly loan repayment." INDEPENDENT

Government dismisses study linking use of food banks to benefit cuts
The study was commissioned by the Church Of England, the Trussell Trust food bank network, Oxfam and Child Poverty Action Group. The study found that cuts and changes to Britain’s increasingly threadbare social security system are the most common triggers of the acute personal financial crises that drive people to use food banks. At least half of all food bank users are referred because they are waiting for benefits to be paid, because they have had benefits stopped for alleged breaches of jobcentre rules or because they have been hit by the bedroom tax or the removal of working tax credits, it finds. The study, the most extensive research of its kind yet carried out in the UK, directly challenges the government’s repeated insistence that there is no link between its welfare reforms and the huge increases in charity food aid. There are no official statistics on the use of food banks, but the Trussell Trust, which runs more than 400 food banks in the UK, says 913,138 people were given food parcels by its volunteers in 2013-14 – almost a threefold increase on the previous year, and likely to be a fraction of the total numbers of people experiencing food insecurity. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) dismissed the report, claiming the research was inconclusive. But the report was welcomed by Jeremy Lefroy, the Conservative MP for Stafford, who hosted its launch at the House of Commons on Wednesday. He said it was an important study that chimed with his experience as an MP in his surgery. GUARDIAN

US fast-food workers visit UK to show us how to protest against poverty wages
The US fast-food workers who protested in New York and 100 other US cities over the “poverty wages” paid by multinational burger chains are preparing their British counterparts to launch a similar direct action campaign in the UK. Two months after the wave of US strikes and demonstrations that saw hundreds of arrests, Flavia Cabral, a McDonald’s worker from New York City who earns $8 (£5.10) an hour, said she had come to the UK to “teach workers here how to rise up and fight”. Cabral is part of a band of US fast-food workers travelling to the UK, France, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Denmark and the Philippines as part of plans to form a global alliance of fast-food workers and organise a day of coordinated international protest in April to demand that workers get paid a living wage. “To take on global companies, the protest needs to be global. We need to take to the streets, unite together and stand up. If you ask for a raise, the management are going to say we haven’t got any money,” Cabral said at the rally. “We have to unite. We have to make it global, then it is not just you asking [for a pay rise], it is everyone around the world – and they will have to listen.” The protest plans come as McDonald’s marks 40 years since opening its first UK store in Powis Street, Woolwich, on 13 November 1974. There are now 1,249 McDonald’s outlets in the UK. The company recently announced it would hire an extra 8,000 people, mostly on zero-hours contracts – taking the UK workforce to more than 100,000 for the first time. The firm admitted last year that 90% of workers are on zero-hours contracts. McDonald’s pays under-18s a minimum starting rate of £4.35 an hour, rising to £5.15 for those aged 18-20 and £6.51 an hour for those aged 21 and over. The UK’s hourly national minimum wage rates are respectively £3.79, £5.13 and £6.50. GUARDIAN

Premier League TV rights to be probed by Ofcom
Under the current deal competition between BSkyB and BT Sport, a new entrant, pushed the overall value of its TV deals at home and overseas to a record £5.5bn over three years. It was £191m in 1992. Ofcom’s probe follows a complaint from Virgin Media, which said more matches should be available for live broadcast. Ofcom said: "Virgin Media argues that the proportion of matches made available for live television broadcast under the current Premier League rights deals - at 41% - is lower than some other leading European leagues, where more matches are available for live television broadcast." Virgin argues that by effectively limiting the supply of matches the Premier League has inflated the price that broadcasters have to pay and that cost is then passed on to consumers. Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media's chief executive, said: "The fact remains that fans in the UK pay the highest prices in Europe to watch the least amount of football on TV.” BBC NEWS GUARDIAN

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014 Posted by Jake 3 comments Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,
According to the Guardian newspaper between 2009 and 2013 banks paid £166 billion in fines and compensation for sins ranging from LIBOR fixing, to PPI mis-selling, to money laundering, to gold price fixing, et cetera. This figure doesn't include fines from 2014 onward including FOREX fixing et cetera.

According to the Office for National Statistics £136 billion was paid in bonuses to UK staff in the financial services sector between 2004 and 2013, when much of the dodgy dealing was being done.

Fines are paid by shareholders (for Lloyds and RBS that includes us taxpayers), but bonuses are paid to individual staff. Does the UK regulator require individual naughty bankers to hand back some of the bonuses they gained doing things that earned £166 billion in fines? We hope the next graph will make this clear:

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
300,000 more people live in poverty than previously thought
The study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the government method for calculating absolute poverty – the number of people living below a breadline that rises each year in line with the cost of living – incorrectly assumed that all households faced the same inflation rate. But in the six years from early 2008 to early 2014, the cost of energy had risen by 67% and the cost of food by 32%. Over the same period the retail prices index – a measure of the cost of a basket of goods and services – had gone up by 22%. Therefore, the soaring prices for food and fuel over the past decade have had a bigger impact on struggling families who spend more of their budgets on staple goods. The IFS report said the poorest 20% of households spent 8% of their budgets on energy and 20% on food, while the richest 20% spent 4% on energy and 11% on food. In contrast, poorer households allocated 3% of their budgets to mortgage interest payments, which have fallen by 40% since 2008 due to the cut in official interest from 5% to 0.5%. Richer households spend 8% of their budgets on servicing home loans. As a result, the IFS concluded that since 2008-09 the annual inflation rate faced by the poorest 20% had been higher than it was for the richest 20% of households. That meant the official measure of absolute poverty understated the figure by 0.5% – or 300,000. GUARDIAN

Six banks fined £2.6bn by regulators over manipulation of foreign exchange rates
HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Swiss bank UBS and US banks JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America have all been fined. A separate probe into Barclays is continuing. The fines were issued by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and two US regulators. FCA boss Martin Wheatley told the BBC: "This isn't the end of the story... The individuals themselves will face the consequences." Several senior traders at the banks have already been put on leave and the Serious Fraud Office is in the process of preparing potential criminal charges against those alleged to have masterminded the scheme. The fines follow a 13-month investigation by regulators into claims that the foreign exchange market - in which banks and other financial firms buy and sell currencies between one another - was being rigged. The massive market, in which $5.3 trillion worth of currencies are traded daily, dwarfs the stock and bond markets. About 40% of the world's dealing is estimated to go through trading rooms in London. The FCA said the "tight knit groups" formed by traders at the different banks had described themselves as "the 3 musketeers", "the A-team" and "1 team, 1 dream". However, Professor Mark Taylor, a former foreign exchange trader and now dean at Warwick Business School, said the fines were "relatively small beer for banks that regularly report billions of dollars in annual profit... The interesting thing is that there are no individuals named as yet, and no individual prosecutions. This is still a possibility and it will be interesting to see how that pans out. At the moment, it's really only the shareholders - which in the case of RBS means British taxpayers - who suffer from these fines." BBC NEWS

Greencore: Sandwich maker to hire from Hungary, despite government funding for UK job creation
Greencore, which makes 430m sandwiches a year for Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and others, said very few local people had applied for jobs at its new £30m Northampton factory so on Monday executives began a recruitment drive in Budapest, Hungary. This is despite Greencore, the UK’s biggest sandwich-maker, benefited from a slice of £107m in government funding designed to create more jobs for the people of Northamptonshire. The new recruits –sandwich makers, cleaners, porters and quality controllers – are being hired for Greencore’s new £30m factory, which is due to open in 2016. Its adverts say recruits will be required to work nights and weekends as the factory makes sandwiches round the clock. About 10% of the jobs will pay the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour for those aged 21 and over. Margot Parker, Ukip MEP for the east Midlands, said: “Why is Greencore recruiting 300 workers from Hungary to open a factory in Northampton, when 500 people in Corby lost jobs doing same job this year? ...It looks like a prime example of job displacement, facilitated by our membership of the EU and a company which wants the cheapest labour available. It is hard to justify saying there is lack of skilled people in the area when 500 workers just up the road doing the same job recently lost their jobs and are willing to work.” GUARDIAN

100,000 attend Brussels anti-austerity protest, ends in clashes
Belgian police used tear gas and water cannon against violent anti-austerity protesters in central Brussels after a largely peaceful march by about 100,000 workers. Several vehicles were set alight by protesters who also hurled stones and flares at police. About 50 people were hurt and 30 detained, officials said. Belgium's new government plans to raise the pension age, freeze wages and make public service cuts to meet EU targets. Thursday's march was one of Belgium's biggest labour demonstrations since World War Two. Steelworkers, dockers and teachers were among the thousands who took part, protesting against government austerity policies. The march marked the start of a month-long campaign by trade unions and is to be capped with a national strike on 15 December. The centre-right government of Prime Minister Charles Michel says the tough austerity measures are necessary to keep the budget deficit down. But Marie-Helene Ska, secretary general of the union CSC, said the government had to look elsewhere for the cash. "The government tells us and all of the parties tell us that there's no alternative. We don't contest that they have to find 11bn euros (£8.6bn; $13.6bn) but we've been saying for a long time that it's possible to find this money elsewhere, rather than in the pockets of the workers." BBC NEWS

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Saturday, November 08, 2014 Posted by Jake 1 comment Labels: , , , , , , ,
Does the UK Housing Boom really exist? It's common knowledge that London house prices have ballooned, but is the rest of the UK bubbling up too?

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show this is actually not the case. Since the banker induced economic crisis of 2008 London house prices have rocketed by 40%. UK house prices too have grown by a not insignificant 12%. However this average UK house price rise has been greatly inflated by including London's figures. 

Look at it this way: a company reviews the pay of two staff:
  • Joe Minimus gets no payrise
  • Felix Maximus gets a £10,000 payrise
  • Their average payrise is £10,000 ÷ 2 = £5,000
The company can say it gave its staff an average £5,000 payrise. But strip out Felix's hike, and the reality is Joe got nothing.

If you strip out London house prices, as the ONS has kindly done in the graph below, you discover that in the five and a half years from January 2008 to July 2014 the average house price in the UK excluding London has risen by just 4%. That is about the same as if you put your money in a rip-off deposit account paying less than 1% for the same period of time.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Friday, November 07, 2014 Posted by Hari 5 comments Labels: , , , , , ,
Fee, KJ and Chris somehow find it in their hearts to forgive Osborne...

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Thursday, November 06, 2014 Posted by Hari 2 comments Labels:

MPs to escape expenses investigations after paperwork destroyed by Parliament
John Bercow, the Speaker, faces accusations he has presided over a fresh cover-up of MPs' expenses after tens of thousands of pieces of paperwork relating to claims made before 2010 were shredded. Members of the public who have written to Kathryn Hudson, the standards watchdog, to raise concerns about their MP’s claims have been told there can now be no investigation due to lack of evidence. Under the House of Commons' "Authorised Records Disposal Practice", which is overseen by Mr Bercow’s committee, records of MPs’ expenses claims are destroyed after three years. The move is necessary to comply with data protection laws, a Commons spokesman said. However, under that same set of guidelines, the pay, discipline and sickness records of Commons staff are kept until their 100th birthday. Health and safety records are kept for up to 40 years, while thousands of other classes of official documents on the day-to-day running of the House are stored indefinitely in the Parliamentary Archive. The shredding of the claims records means that “cold case” investigations like that into Maria Miller, the former Culture Secretary, by the expenses watchdog are now unlikely. In April Mrs Miller was forced to resign from the Cabinet and apologise to the Commons after Mrs Hudson ruled she had wrongly claimed thousands of pounds in mortgage payments between 2005 and 2009 on a home occupied by her parents. TELEGRAPH

Rail ticket 'rip-off': Self-service machines routinely denied cheapest fares to passengers
Self-service machines — which are used to purchase almost a quarter of all tickets sold annually — offer wildly different fares. Customers buying from a machine can pay more than £200 when a ticket for the same destination can be found elsewhere at the station for more than £100 cheaper. For example, at machines run by train company Northern Rail in Leeds, passengers buying a First-Class Anytime Return to Birmingham were charged £271. Only feet away, an East Coast trains machine offered the same journey using a First-Class Off-peak Return for £145.70. This type of ticket is not available for customers using Northern Rail’s machines, which means that some passengers might not be aware that they could save £125.30 by travelling off-peak. The investigation also found that many machines promote expensive fares, bury cheaper options and do not apply discounts for groups or families. Since 2004, the proportion of passenger revenue collected by machines has grown from just seven to 21 percent. Rail travel is at record levels with 1.59 billion journeys recorded in 2013-2014. In 2011, Theresa Villiers, as transport minister, condemned rail companies over how difficult ticket machines were to use and challenged the industry to clean up its act. But The Telegraph investigation examined rail fares across the country and found that customers were being offered different prices for the same journey depending on which operator’s machine they used. TELEGRAPH

NHS cuts: spending on agency nurses soars past £5.5bn
NHS spending on agency nurses and staff has spiralled to more than £5.5bn over the past four years and is continuing to rise amid a debilitating recruitment crisis in the health service. Budgets for temporary staff this financial year have already been blown apart, it can be revealed, with spending in some parts of the NHS running at twice the planned figure. Reliance on agencies – at a cost of up to £1,800 per day per nurse – comes as the number of nurse training places in England has been cut. In the last year of the Labour government, 20,829 nurse training positions were filled in England. That fell to 17,741 in 2011-12 and to 17,219 in 2012-13, rising to 18,009 in 2013-14. According to the latest figures, there were 7,000 fewer qualified nurses in August 2013 compared with May 2010, excluding health visitors, school nurses and midwives. Ministers were accused on Saturday of “truly incompetent planning” by the Royal College of Nurses. GUARDIAN

Pay rise for 60,000 workers after surge in firms signing up to living wage
More than 1,000 companies are now committed to paying the living wage or above, securing tens of millions of pounds in extra pay for the working poor. They join a host of leading companies, including Google, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, ITV and Legal & General, in making the commitment to be a living wage employer, remunerating all employees well beyond the legally enforced £6.50 national minimum wage. The surge in numbers, and the burgeoning campaign to lift the pay of the worst-off, means that about 60,000 people will be given a pay rise. The living wage rate rose this month to £9.15 in London and £7.85 elsewhere. In 2013, 432 companies were accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, a part of the community organisation Citizens UK. That figure has now more than doubled, as hundreds of other organisations, charities and businesses have signed up. The Department of Energy and Climate Change pledged on Friday that all its subcontractors would pay the living wage, becoming the first Whitehall department to be formally accredited by the foundation. In contrast, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,  and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), continue to refuse to ensure that all their subcontracted staff are paid the living wage. An independent evaluation of the living wage initiative funded by Trust for London calculates that by September 2013 the living wage campaign had generated £48m in additional wages for 23,000 low-paid workers. The huge increase in accredited companies since then means those “gains have significantly increased”. The proportion of employees on less than the living wage is 22%, up from 21% last year, says the study. In real terms, that is a rise of 147,000 people to 5.28 million. GUARDIAN

Britain's bosses call on Government to stop 'ducking' big questions' and invest in 'crumbling' infrastructure
The nation’s bosses urged the Government to deliver significant improvements to everything from roads and runways to energy supply and broadband. They also called for the creation of an independent infrastructure authority to take politics out of the decision-making process. Two separate reports on the matter, by the CBI lobby group and manufacturing organisation EEF, were released amid signs that business confidence is wavering as the economic recovery slows. The CBI’s survey of 443 senior business leaders found that 67 per cent expect energy infrastructure to worsen over the next five years while 57 per cent fear the same over transport. More than 90 per cent said ‘political uncertainty’ and ‘political rhetoric’ – such as Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices – was damaging confidence and discouraging investment. Katja Hall, deputy director general of the CBI, said: ‘Progress on infrastructure has been a case of two steps forward and three steps back for far too long. ‘Politicians are too often seen as ducking the big, politically difficult questions looming large on businesses’ risk register, rather than grasping the nettle... Where hard decisions have been taken on issues like energy, populist political rhetoric threatens to send us backwards... We’re at a crossroads. We also need to see bold thinking and a renewal of the politics of infrastructure, finding a new way to agree upon and then consistently deliver the improvements we’ll need over the next 50 years - not just the next five.’ DAILY MAIL

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014 Posted by Jake 4 comments Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,
We Britons are an optimistic bunch. The graph below by Glassdoor, a recruitment company, shows we  consistently believe our work colleagues are much more likely to get fired than we are.

Graph by Glassdoor
Is it this native optimism that encourages politicians to cut public services and rip up safety nets for the unemployed and the disabled? Because we are so confident we ourselves won't need them?

If so, our confidence is sorely misplaced. Office for National Statistics figures show how the UK manufacturing industry collapsed between 1979 and 2013, with 60% of all manufacturing jobs disappearing:

If you are heaving a sigh of relief that you aren't employed in manufacturing, hold that sigh!

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