The Chancellor announced today in his Autumn Statement that the patently unfair 5.2% increase to benefits, money which is also paid out to those who are fit and able but refuse to work, will go ahead next year after George Osborne was forced to climbdown after Nick Clegg wouldn’t approve a smaller increase.
This really sticks in the claw of the strivers who get up early to contribute to sorting our economy out. A real divide is opening up in this country. We have the strivers and wealth creators in the private sector who are looking at zero pay increases, just so they can keep their job, and a pension based on the success of the stock market and those in the public sector who at least will get a pay increase, as announced by George Osborne today, and also have a nice government-backed final salary pension scheme to look forward to. And then the public sector workers have the audacity to cause chaos to millions of people, who pay their salaries and pensions, when they walk out tomorrow.
The unions say they shouldn’t have to pay more into their pensions. Really, why not? Ever thought they were too generous in the first place? The maths argument no longer works for the public sector unions. Compared to their private sector peers, public sector workers are paid more and have larger pensions to look forward to. It’s not as if higher pay has improved performance: children are still leaving school illiterate and unable to add up, and doctors have to prescribe water as nurses are not ensuring their patients remain hydrated.
The party is over and it’s about time the public sector realised and joined the real world.