We’re All In This Together

Two pieces of news have grabbed my attention this morning and they both seem to involve our revered government.

Firstly the news that David Cameron has apparently ‘forgiven’ (insert “felt sorry for” if you prefer) Andrew Mitchell and offered him a job as a European Commissioner. Mr Cameron and wife Samantha had lunch at the PM’s official country residence in Buckinghamshire with Mr Mitchell and his GP wife  Sharon.  Afterwards, Mr Cameron took Mr Mitchell to The Plough pub in Princes Risborough and Mr Cameron told Mr Mitchell he was considering putting  him forward as an EU Commissioner when Baroness Ashton, appointed by Gordon Brown, finishes her term as EU Foreign Affairs envoy next year.

It is understood Mr Mitchell told Mr Cameron he would ‘seriously consider’ the suggestion.

Well that’s all nice and cosy then, everyone’s happy, all’s well that ends well.  Except that this role as European Commissioner (job for the boys?) attracts a salary of approx £250,000 compared to the salary for the Chief Whip, which he obviously had to give up when he resigned, of £145,492, a figure which does include his basic MPs salary (£65,738) which he obviously hasn’t given up.

So with a potential rise in the region of £100,000 per annum these austere times are probably not going to hurt him too much at all.  On top of this would be a pension.  I am currently unable to identify today’s pension arrangements for European Commissioners, but I did find this relating to 2009;

“European commissioners leaving office later this year will receive more than £1 million (€1.1 million) each in pension payments and so-called ‘transitional’ and ‘resettlement’ allowances,”

That’s me sorted then, off out with me bike to go and swear at a copper and maybe (or maybe not) call him a pleb.  That’ll sort my retirement for me.

Secondly was that Mr Iain Duncan Smith, Minister for Work and Pensions.

I must apologise I have temporarily forgotten who brought it my attention, but it seems like DWP have already got their rejection letters ready for anyone daring to claim Personal Independence Payments.

“Dear Mr Jones

Thank you for your claim for Personal Independence Payment.
I’ve considered all the information about your conditions and how they affect you as identified in:

  • the “How your disability affects you” form
  •  the information provided by the health professional consultation report
  • the information provided by Jobcentre Plus

I’ve decided you’re not entitled to Personal Independence Payment from XX Month YYYY I realise you have a disability or health condition and receiving this decision isn’t the news you were hoping for.

Unfortunately you don’t meet the criteria for Personal Independence Payment. I’ll explain in more detail how I reached this decision on the next page.”

Until they decide to delete it you can read the full letter on the www.dwp.gov.uk (here) website, and see for yourself how cynical it seems.

On a lighter note, you will see that this Specimen Letter is addressed to David Smith and Mr Jones at the same time, a clear example of the efficiency of whoever drafted the letter.

Finally, one piece of Super Sunday news which does not involve the government (directly) is the news reported (again in the Mail unfortunately) that One in four of the UK’s top companies pay no tax while we give THEM millions in credits in which it is alleged that large, multinational companies including our old friends G4S are paying no Corporation Tax.

The companies who got a credit from the taxman were Experian, RSA Insurance Group, security group G4S, telecoms firm Vodafone, aerospace and defence group Rolls-Royce and engineering company IMI.

If this is true I find it absolutely astounding that any company the size of these are not paying Corporation Tax and to an economical simpleton like me, why are these companies getting government contracts if they are not paying Corporation Tax?

I don’t know the answer, it’s way to complex for me to fathom out, but it will certainly keep me awake at night thinking about it.  Is it right?  You decide.  Rant over

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