Sick pay, George Osborne etc

I don’t like to have to talk about the misery that is our government, but George Osborne is essentially talking about the end of employment rights - the ‘shares for rights’ suggestion, civil servants / local authorities being told to review “generous” sick pay / maternity arrangements, right to unfair dismissal hearings etc …

As one of the ones lucky enough to be able to work, I worry that if George wants to end an employers obligation to pay reasonable sick pay for a decent length of time, where will my income be coming from the next time I have to take off two months for a relapse? I will doubtless lose out under PiP as my impairments are relatively modest most of the time. Are my family expected to cover my bills, transport to medical appts etc? Why should I, with my (frozen) low wage and my national insurance contributions, have to be dependent on the charity of friends and family?

The employment / business reforms are damaging enough for the average low-to-middle wage earner, what for people like us? Mind you, I suppose businesses won’t be so picky about employing the sick when they know they can get rid of them with minimum fuss and at no cost

The rich and powerful of the world are sapping my faith in all that is good at the mo :frowning:

I agree, its frightening isn’t it?

Last year my husband suffered a massive heart attack, but his employers don’t pay sick pay, which seems to be more and more common. We have a mortgage and two teenagers, one income, and could get NO HELP! just statutory sick pay, around £60.00 a week. He’s had no payrise for 3 years either. We ended up borrowing money from my elderly mum, ran up credit cards and overdrafts, which we are doing our best to pay back, but yesterday our only car broke down, and it looks like the engine is done for. We live deep in the countryside, no public transport to speak of. My husband sold his car and rides a motorbike to work. We’ve got no savings now, are deeply in debt, as surviving for weeks with no income stripped us of everything. I don’t know how we are going to manage, but this could be the straw that breaks the camels back.

My husband has worked all his life, (I did too untill about 10 years ago), never took time off sick before his heart attack, never claimed a penny in benefits. He’s been working all the hours possible, 12 -13 hour days, out in all weather’s, and he’s not really recovered properly. Nor will he at this rate.

There must be millions of people like us, many far, far worse off. And nobody (in power) seems to give a damn.

Cameron was banging on about not being the party that defends privilage, but that wants to spread it, the party for those who ‘want to get on’. Well, believe me we’d love to, but we can barely survive, let alone get ahead! Its not through a lack of trying, effort, sheer bloody hard work. Its because the system stinks. For those trying to survive on benefits, or for those whose employers can use their ‘discression’ about paying sick pay,when the boss has just bought a new Maserrati.

Sorry for the rant!

If I might come at it from another angle…employers/businesses (particularly small ones) have to keep running too. Unless you work for the big giants, costs of employees sickness/maternity pay etc can make a business go bankrupt and/or the boss has to take a huge pay reduction so their business will survive.

It’s right to take the onus off the small businesses to provide this income - they employ you because they need a job doing and if you can’t do it they need to employ someone who can as well as pay those who are off sick, which can be financially crippling for them.

BUT it is quite true that we pay enough national insurance and tax out of our earnings that we should be paid generously from the government. The sick will be the ones who suffer and that is dreadfully wrong. The government need to take reponsibility. There shouldn’t be a blanket sick pay - it certainly shouldn’t be means tested as this works the wrong way round: it should be contribution tested - we have our costs to cover according to our salary; we contribute to the government according to our salary; we should therefore have sick pay according to our salary to aoid the situation hunny and her husband found themselves in. That should never have to happen. My friend’s husband got cancer. They had a lovely house that he had worked incredibly hard to pay for. His contribution to tax and NI was huge. But because of this house they weren’t entitled to any benefits at all when he was ill. In order to cope financillay when he was ill they had to sell and move the children out of their home. He has since died. That can never be brought back. They suffered tremendously when they were already suffering tremendously because the system only supports those who never work or who live in council accommodation on a low wage or those on Housing Benefit and Tax Credits. Those who work and pay for those who don’t are actually saving the government money but get nothing in return when their own lives go tits up. Same when they get old.

Not sorry for the rant!

And there is another bit of unfairness:

You pay “NI” out of gross income.
You pay income tax out of gross income.
In terrms of simple logic, this is paying a tax on one’s payments of another tax.

This is not down to the present shower in Westminster, or the last shower, or the one before that, etc - it has been going on for decades. No-one who wants to “reform the tax system” ever wants to discuss this point.

Waaaaay back, like after WWII, a taxpayer could offset a lot of things against income tax (e.g. house maintenance) just like in America. Now, you just get a tax bill!


I was disgusted at the leader of the Bullion Bovver Boys speech at conference yesterday. He was suggesting it was the Tory’s good management of the Olympics that the UK is looked as a good idea for foreign businesses to set up here.

Sorry but I thought the vast majority of building and planning was done under Blair (nearly as bad as Thatcher in my estimation)?

Cameron must be getting desperate for him to mention his son; not in any way whatsoever should this be brought into any political speech.

It’s not rocket science the way out of this mess being made worse by the Government. If you get out of this financial mess; even Osborne will find it difficult to make the poor; poorer. Simon Jenkins and Billy Bragg are singing from the same hymn sheet and are portraying the way out of this financial mess the world is in.

It makes me smile when any Tory says “you can’t spend your way out of debt;” but isn’t that exactly what they are doing?

By getting the Bank of England (BoE) to print more money (Quantative Easing) surely that is precisely what they are doing

The way they use Quantative Easing (QE) is entirely wrong. The idea is The Bank of England (BoE) prints money, puts it in circulation and the banks should then loan it to businesses enabling them to employ more people and creating growth.

But surely growth comes from business selling their goods/services and creating profit? The business will then earn sufficient money to employ a person; that is the way to create growth.

An alternative: give everybody above the age of 16 who earns below £80,000 per year £2,000. They will spend the money on bills, rent/mortgage, consumer goods etc. making profit for businesses and thus creating growth. If they put it into a savings account that is doing exactly what the BoE are doing. This would cost about 20 billion pounds but it should be remembered that the BoE has given the banks 375 billion in QE so far.

In the long term the Robin Hood Tax must be implemented. A less than half 1p in the pound tax on every transaction involving bonds, derivatives etc. (not in your high street bank) would raise £100 billion per year (see

Vince Cable (bless his Lib-Dem cotton socks) is setting up this new bank to only lend to business but it’s going to take 18 months to start. While we have a Chancellor who equates the country’s budget with that of a household budget saying “in times of austerity we must cut back on our spending” we will have a long, bleak future.

The answer to any bank that wants to move to, say, Hong Kong is simple. If they move they will not be allowed to operate in this country. I’m sure you would get agreement on that in the EU.

This is the way out of this problem. Too many people, especially up North, are feeling this financial catastrophe. £2000, although not perhaps solving their problem, will take some of the pressure from them.

Solve the debt you will not have pressure to reduce benefits.


The concept of being born into privilege is easy enough to understand, but probably tricky to arrange retrospectively. All I need to do is find a Father who specialised in tax avoidance for the super-rich and then inherit his multi millions.

The Old Etonians must think we are all Plebs to believe that privilege can be shared around…………Oh, I see.

I think the governemtn - if it is really interested in helping the chronically sick “get on” at work, should be looking at introducing tax breaks to companies who employ a certain percentage of people with chronic conditions. This way, a business - even a small one - will not be out of pocket if (actually let’s be honest, when) the employee has to take time off for repeated medical appointments, periods of sickness that can extend into the months. They will have the necessary finance to arrange for replacement cover without having to delve into their own pockets. This would help so many people with conditions like ours not only get work in the first place, but keep it.

I lost my job to illness in 2009 and was treated as practically radioactive by potential employers because of my absence record. But touch wood, in the last three years I’ve only had to have 6 weeks off, plus monthly ty infusions. Honestly, that’s the kind of “tax breaks for the rich \ doers” that might actually be helpful - esp with so many people being thrown off IB and ESA into the job heap.