Today Maria Miller has scuttled off, into oblivion hopefully, without paying the outstanding £45,000. Anyone else would be looking at harsher treatment. Today, as well, I voted to reject the Local Government Employers pay offer.
The Employers’ below-inflation final pay offer falls woefully below the aspirations in our 2014-15 pay claim and what our members deserve. It does nothing to begin restoring the 20% real loss in NJC pay value since 2010 and the effect falling pay has on members’ future pensions. It means yet another year with a further pay cut for the vast majority of our members. It leaves half a million NJC members below the Living Wage and the lowest paid 50,000 just 30p above the National Minimum Wage.
It’s beyond insulting. Wages have been frozen along with benefits. Food, fuel prices and everything else is increasing while wages stay stagnant. In the times of austerity, where we are all in it together, House of Commons’ champagne bill has been increasing. While many people are relying on food banks MPs can be quaffing champers to their hearts content.
Officials bought in 4,691 bottles in 2010, with the number rising by over 1,000 each year to finally reach 8,082 in 2013, a 72% rise. The House of Commons has a total of £41,077.51 of wine and champagne in its stocks, according to the figures.
The range of drink officials bought in for MPs to enjoy ranges like Taittinger, Lenoble and the House of Commons’ own-brand champagnes, Zonin prosecco and the English sparkling wines Herbert Hall and Camel Valley.
Wot no Cristal? Even the TaxPayers’ Alliance Maybe the Bullingdon chaps have a secret stash somewhere. So the drinks are possibly on Maria Miller. Even if the reason is due to an increased number of commercial banqueting events involving external customers in recent years… the booze is still state subsidised.
For me, the excess in champagne purchasing is the tip of the iceberg rather symbolic to the opulence and greed that exists in the time of austerity. And let’s not forget poor old witch-hunted Maria Miller, former Minister for Disabled People who didn’t have a problem with the demonisation and scapegoating of people with disabilities claiming benefits while she had her sticky hands in the till….
While many elected MPs quaff state-subsidised booze….everyone else is expected to like it or lump it …. Frozen pay, frozen benefits and increasing cost of living. So if there’s any Unison LG member reading this vote NO to the pathetic pay offer and support strike action.