Sterling/Euro

Old May 10th 2012, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by steviedeluxe
In the Telegraph today, they're saying that children born today will have to work until they're 80 before drawing their retirement pension. You wonder where the work is going to come from?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...n-reforms.html

Once again you raise an interesting point !!

Is it actual work or just clocking up a few years to spend a while on benefits getting your stamp paid for you ? Who is going to employ them when jobs are being outsourced to India and other places. One company I know keeps one post open to answer the telephone without delay and in an English speaking accent that knows its raining in Scunthorpe whilst having a further 5 doing "the job" in India. Wouldnt be so bad if they had told the clients they were offshoring, to a country not covered by the UK or EU Data Protection Act.

I sincerely believe the number of jobs is falling. Despite the background chatter the only way for those with ideas is to go on your own, borrowing early from the bank of mum&dad - the only bank that will lend anyone with a half bright idea. The banks are so far up their own backsides they have lost sight of what they should be doing - other than racking up big bonuses for themselves by charging 4,000% interest for a day or so overdrawn and ridiculous sums for sending a letter. They claim they have lent £millions to SME's but have only lent to those companies turning over more than £1million. Meanwhile the startups, micro and really small businesses are starved of investment.

Who is going to provide "the Government" with the money to pay our pensions in decades to come - but then we will be getting the "lower grade pension" until we die so no need to worry about us is there.


.
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Old May 10th 2012, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Me, I just remind myself that every generation has wound up better off than its parents. Now it is of course possible that we have been spectactularly dumb
-letting Gordon Brown anywhere near a piggy bank let alone Her Majesty' Treasury is right up there- but still things do have a habit of turning out okay in the long run.

We have to get through the next few years - combatting the political extremes (both are as bad as each other IMHO) will be a challenge, evry bit as tough as paying down our debts.

But insourcing is on the up as consumers demand more tailored products, which will bring jobs back to the developped world, especially as Chinese demography has peaked, the downturn has resulted in a huge rise in self employment, which will pay massive dividends for individuals and society over time.

And in the long run, life's a beach and then you're dead!
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Old May 10th 2012, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

As usual got it wrong, no new printing press spree from the Bank of England this month, so the euro might well break 1.30 this time round, might overshoot if it corrects strongly.

As to work, I am fifty-fifty and manage to make enough out of a small internet company to pay my basic living costs (council tax, elec, water, gas and food), all virtual and could be run from anywhere... I would suspect that about half the next generation are going to be internet savvy enough to do likewise and a few will get seriously rich, so I think that a lot of people are going to have rather creative lives but not necessarily well paid ones (and they won't make enough to break through their personal allowances so not much help to the govn save they will stay off the dole).

When I was younger I made quite a lot of dosh and have that as backup in the form of cash, house and shares but arranged so that none of it goes to the govn - a question of morality as I am not paying for the excesses of trying to turn UK into a socialist paradise.

As to retirement, I think it is a silly concept unless you are doing a heavy physical or dangerous job (when you probably won't last long after you retire), and it will eventually get to the point where most won't retire, just ease back or do something more creative.

I think you will end up with whole generations of family back to living in the same property as overall incomes fall and the state has to keep on cutting back, no bad thing if you have ever walked into a nursing home!
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Old May 10th 2012, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Lovely thread, with plenty of reality. As a currency follower, the fact that it's nudging 1.25 obviously pleases me. Even better is the news that Merv has finally admitted that QE has run its course and any more would be harmful.

I've got no idea where we are, collectively, going next. It's got so bad for me, personally, that I've been looking at houses back in Essex, my former stomping ground.

I quite enjoy looking, even though sitting on a sun drenched terrace earlier, after swimming around in my swimming pool for the first time this year.

I wouldn't get that back in Essex, but my pound would be a pound, and I could switch off my currency converter.
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Old May 11th 2012, 6:17 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by HBG
I'm not a left-leaning socialist, but somebody has to correct the notion that this awful recession was caused by the Labour party. It was caused by bankers the world over who parcelled up US sub-prime mortgages and sold them to each other to make huge bonuses.

None of the financial regulators spotted the dangers until it was too late, and Gordon Brown actually got the world leaders together to bail out their banks after Lehmans went down, not that they had much choice.
Agreed, too many people believe the DM.

What's the point of apportioning blame now (I think we are all to blame), we are where we are and need to find the best way out of the mess.

It's a difficult balance between cutting expenditure and strangling growth. Whilst I am slightly left I do believe public spending caused by the increase in numbers, benefits and pay is not sustainable in the Uk and many other European countries and needs to be addressed.
The public sector needs a reality check, it's not a bottomless pit of money.
How is it right that the public sector pays more than the private sector for equivalent jobs. They should pay the same and by that I mean after taking into account pension cost,holiday entitlements, excessive sick leave etc.
These need to be savings that are permanent not to overturned during the next (if ever) boom.
Any future increase take in taxes should be used on capital projects to encourage growth that benefit the majority of the people not squandered increasing the numbers of managers employed in the public sector and to reduce the deficit to manageable levels.

Will we learn our lesson, I doubt it.
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Old May 11th 2012, 7:08 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by johnnyone
Agreed, too many people believe the DM.

What's the point of apportioning blame now (I think we are all to blame), we are where we are and need to find the best way out of the mess.

It's a difficult balance between cutting expenditure and strangling growth. Whilst I am slightly left I do believe public spending caused by the increase in numbers, benefits and pay is not sustainable in the Uk and many other European countries and needs to be addressed.
The public sector needs a reality check, it's not a bottomless pit of money.
How is it right that the public sector pays more than the private sector for equivalent jobs. They should pay the same and by that I mean after taking into account pension cost,holiday entitlements, excessive sick leave etc.
These need to be savings that are permanent not to overturned during the next (if ever) boom.
Any future increase take in taxes should be used on capital projects to encourage growth that benefit the majority of the people not squandered increasing the numbers of managers employed in the public sector and to reduce the deficit to manageable levels.

Will we learn our lesson, I doubt it.
The proliferation of management jobs in the public sector really took off with the advent of privatisation, when concepts like tendering, the internal market, 'best value' etc. were introduced, and was fuelled also by successive Governments wanting to introduce more and more performance measurement tools and targets. The more beans the Government wants counted, the more people get employed for no other purpose but to count them.

I'm not saying this to make a political point (for once!) because the Blair/Brown Labour Governments were just as bad as their Tory predecessors and successors in this respect. I spent the last 5 years of my working life in the civil service and it drove me mad, I spent literally days every month doing nothing but compile statistics that more than likely nobody ever looked at.

The endless reorganisations of the NHS and other Government departments and quangos have also squandered billions and wasted countless hours of staff time.

I also hated the way things like performance related pay, 'team building exercises' and staff away days were forced on us. In my last job I went to the first 'away day' involving staff across the whole country and flatly refused to attend any more but told my boss I would come into the office instead and provide a service to the public which is what we were there for. It didn't go down very well and I was told I was being negative and 'not a team player' but they couldn't very well discipline me for it.

It would certainly be possible to reduce jobs and expenditure in the public sector, but the decisions on how to do it should not be left to the managers in the respective departments or quangos as they will look after their own interests and it will be the number of jobs at the sharp end that will be affected, with the consequences being felt by service users as well as the remaining staff left to cope with the workload. They should use something like the Audit Commission to do it instead (oh, but they're going to be abolished and something else set up in its place, more money wasted) and ask staff working below senior management level for their suggestions as to how savings might be achieved. They might be surprised just how much could be saved.
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Old May 11th 2012, 7:37 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by Lynn R
The proliferation of management jobs in the public sector really took off with the advent of privatisation, when concepts like tendering, the internal market, 'best value' etc. were introduced, and was fuelled also by successive Governments wanting to introduce more and more performance measurement tools and targets. The more beans the Government wants counted, the more people get employed for no other purpose but to count them.

I'm not saying this to make a political point (for once!) because the Blair/Brown Labour Governments were just as bad as their Tory predecessors and successors in this respect. I spent the last 5 years of my working life in the civil service and it drove me mad, I spent literally days every month doing nothing but compile statistics that more than likely nobody ever looked at.

The endless reorganisations of the NHS and other Government departments and quangos have also squandered billions and wasted countless hours of staff time.

I also hated the way things like performance related pay, 'team building exercises' and staff away days were forced on us. In my last job I went to the first 'away day' involving staff across the whole country and flatly refused to attend any more but told my boss I would come into the office instead and provide a service to the public which is what we were there for. It didn't go down very well and I was told I was being negative and 'not a team player' but they couldn't very well discipline me for it.

It would certainly be possible to reduce jobs and expenditure in the public sector, but the decisions on how to do it should not be left to the managers in the respective departments or quangos as they will look after their own interests and it will be the number of jobs at the sharp end that will be affected, with the consequences being felt by service users as well as the remaining staff left to cope with the workload. They should use something like the Audit Commission to do it instead (oh, but they're going to be abolished and something else set up in its place, more money wasted) and ask staff working below senior management level for their suggestions as to how savings might be achieved. They might be surprised just how much could be saved.
Your last para is bang on. As long as we keep asking the turkeys to organise Christmas then there ain't nothing going to change. In our local authority at one time we had 2 full-time chief executives each on in excess of £150k and each had a deputy - we are a small district council! They organised themselves into a 'cabinet' with pays the councillors considerable more than the average wage to be 'portfolio' owners. We then had the county above that and then the regional government above that - you couldn't make it up. What happened to the good old days when we had a town clerk and unpaid councillors performing a public service? The streets were still clean and the bins emptied weekly.
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Old May 11th 2012, 7:39 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by johnnyone
They should pay the same and by that I mean after taking into account pension cost,holiday entitlements, excessive sick leave etc.
These need to be savings that are permanent not to overturned during the next (if ever) boom.
.
Listening to the public sector here in UK on strike yesterday was pitiful, they don't know when they are well off. Listening to a pensions expert who said that it's still a great pension, if PS sector workers had to choose between a public and private pension, he would expect 99% to take the public one. No surprises there then. As he said we have police etc retiring at 50 with a great pension, the average retirement age across the sector is 57, and they seem happy for the rest to work to 68 to fund their lifestyle.
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Old May 11th 2012, 7:53 am
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Smile Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by Lynn R
The proliferation of management jobs in the public sector really took off with the advent of privatisation, when concepts like tendering, the internal market, 'best value' etc. were introduced, and was fuelled also by successive Governments wanting to introduce more and more performance measurement tools and targets. The more beans the Government wants counted, the more people get employed for no other purpose but to count them.

I'm not saying this to make a political point (for once!) because the Blair/Brown Labour Governments were just as bad as their Tory predecessors and successors in this respect. I spent the last 5 years of my working life in the civil service and it drove me mad, I spent literally days every month doing nothing but compile statistics that more than likely nobody ever looked at.

The endless reorganisations of the NHS and other Government departments and quangos have also squandered billions and wasted countless hours of staff time.

I also hated the way things like performance related pay, 'team building exercises' and staff away days were forced on us. In my last job I went to the first 'away day' involving staff across the whole country and flatly refused to attend any more but told my boss I would come into the office instead and provide a service to the public which is what we were there for. It didn't go down very well and I was told I was being negative and 'not a team player' but they couldn't very well discipline me for it.

It would certainly be possible to reduce jobs and expenditure in the public sector, but the decisions on how to do it should not be left to the managers in the respective departments or quangos as they will look after their own interests and it will be the number of jobs at the sharp end that will be affected, with the consequences being felt by service users as well as the remaining staff left to cope with the workload. They should use something like the Audit Commission to do it instead (oh, but they're going to be abolished and something else set up in its place, more money wasted) and ask staff working below senior management level for their suggestions as to how savings might be achieved. They might be surprised just how much could be saved.
That is the most intelligent summary of the woes of the pubic sector I have read anywhere. Pity about the Audit commission they have done some very insightful work in the past and often to the embarrassment of the politicians (Ministers) at the head of departments.
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Old May 11th 2012, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

the "I'm entitled" generation. We've been taught it since birth.
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Old May 11th 2012, 7:55 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by John & Kath
That is the most intelligent summary of the woes of the pubic sector I have read anywhere. Pity about the Audit commission they have done some very insightful work in the past and often to the embarrassment of the politicians (Ministers) at the head of departments.
+1
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Old May 11th 2012, 8:05 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by Lynn R
The proliferation of management jobs in the public sector really took off with the advent of privatisation, when concepts like tendering, the internal market, 'best value' etc. were introduced, and was fuelled also by successive Governments wanting to introduce more and more performance measurement tools and targets. The more beans the Government wants counted, the more people get employed for no other purpose but to count them.

I'm not saying this to make a political point (for once!) because the Blair/Brown Labour Governments were just as bad as their Tory predecessors and successors in this respect. I spent the last 5 years of my working life in the civil service and it drove me mad, I spent literally days every month doing nothing but compile statistics that more than likely nobody ever looked at.

The endless reorganisations of the NHS and other Government departments and quangos have also squandered billions and wasted countless hours of staff time.

I also hated the way things like performance related pay, 'team building exercises' and staff away days were forced on us. In my last job I went to the first 'away day' involving staff across the whole country and flatly refused to attend any more but told my boss I would come into the office instead and provide a service to the public which is what we were there for. It didn't go down very well and I was told I was being negative and 'not a team player' but they couldn't very well discipline me for it.

It would certainly be possible to reduce jobs and expenditure in the public sector, but the decisions on how to do it should not be left to the managers in the respective departments or quangos as they will look after their own interests and it will be the number of jobs at the sharp end that will be affected, with the consequences being felt by service users as well as the remaining staff left to cope with the workload. They should use something like the Audit Commission to do it instead (oh, but they're going to be abolished and something else set up in its place, more money wasted) and ask staff working below senior management level for their suggestions as to how savings might be achieved. They might be surprised just how much could be saved.
I worked for an American based company, in sales we had to spend hours each day filling in an NCR form showing our activity, companies visited, outcome of visit etc etc. One Monday I was in the office and saw the department secretary opening the weekly reports from my colleagues. She just put a tick against the names of those who had sent in reports, noted the number of calls for the week and filed them in a large folder - last week's had already been disposed of.
No one read them, it was all a "numbers" exercise, proving you were doing your paperwork.

Team days are a waste of time. How can anyone expect adults putting up a childs tent with a piece missing to build a team.!! Especially when they never work together and have travelled from the farthest part of the country just to play games.
How can even a team that do work in the same office playing blind mans bluff "gell" into a "team" when they have no reason to even speak to each other after work has finished.?
Teamwork comes about by identical payscales for every worker, all being able to take over for a colleague in an emergency, all workers actually doing the job properly not missing bits out "cos I can't be bothered and it don't matter anyway".
Ask any of Britains Armed Forces about teamwork and shudder.

Pay disparity is one thing managers seem to revel in, quoting "regional differences" when discussing same job description in 2 buildings 80miles apart.
One company paid the same hourly rate for a girl on reception at head office as was being paid to the site manager of a building worth over £10million, responsible for all cleaning, maintenance and H&S.
One HR Director gave in to sales demands when including their commission and bonuses into the calculation of Performance Related Pay - reducing the amount paid to the rest of the staff by over 15%

When lowly staff members make cost saving suggestions they are informed they "don't see the bigger picture".

It can be great working for some companies.................
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Old May 11th 2012, 8:13 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by John & Kath
That is the most intelligent summary of the woes of the pubic sector I have read anywhere. Pity about the Audit commission they have done some very insightful work in the past and often to the embarrassment of the politicians (Ministers) at the head of departments.
and whatever we have to replace it will have the same remit, use many of the old AC staff - a total waste of time, space and money.
and if they stopped tinkering with things for political reasons we would probably have a better run government and a less cynical public.
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Old May 11th 2012, 8:24 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

The famous blame game is difficult to avoid. One commentator mentioned the police demonstration yesterday, concluding that they are lucky to retire after 30 years. On the surface, that's a righteous criticism, but after going to work in an anti-stab vest for 30 years, wouldn't they get worn out earlier than other workers?

Our soldiers take similar early retirement, I would imagine they also get worn out quicker after seeing close friends die in some godforsaken desert and others back in civvy street hobbling about with false limbs.

And prison officers? Everybody hates them - what an easy job they've got just turning keys on their fellow citizens. But what fellow citizens have to face murderous psychopaths on a daily basis?

And why should firemen retire early? Christ, all they do is turn a hose on and spray a fire somewhere. OK, a few of them might die when they try and rescue people from burning buildings, but that's just bad luck, isn't it?

Our public sector is bloated, but we need to be careful in unbloating it.
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Old May 11th 2012, 8:26 am
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Default Re: Sterling/Euro

Originally Posted by Domino
and whatever we have to replace it will have the same remit, use many of the old AC staff - a total waste of time, space and money.
and if they stopped tinkering with things for political reasons we would probably have a better run government and a less cynical public.
Government employees are the same worldwide. Their own interests come first, and second. If anything else is left.... They also have the politicians under the same system as they. Where I am, I understand even the overseers are covered by the same system. That includes the final deciders, the judges, also covered. No case has ever been decided against the PERS. Public Employees Retirement System. The tremendous amount of debt is written in for years to come. I understand" Government servants" receiving retirement benefits. However they are quite unbelievable and utterly unsustainable here and I suspect most other places in the western world. Please excuse my frustrated rant.
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