If you're trying to extend or grow a business and employ more staff, whilst trying extremely hard to feed a family and to keep a roof over their heads, you'll be forgiven for wondering where any governmental help is coming from. The election manifesto of 2010 from the Conservative government explained it would help, but tax increases mean we're close to paying the same taxes an employed person would pay whilst working 60-70 hours a week with no sick or holiday pay, which for a small business owner this is extremely worrying. We're worse off now and it's plain to see the Conservatives are interested in big business only. They might say they look after small businesses but that's simply not true. Their policies are not worth the paper they're written on. Just a complete waste of time bothering to read.
The prime minister is suggesting workers can receive two weeks off (without pay, of course) for parents of children who have recently died, yet has cut the bereavement benefit by thousands! People are relying on food banks, the NHS is in crisis, elderly people are stuck in hospitals, the social care system is in chaos and people are dying because of austerity measures and the unjust and damned unfair victimisation carried out by the department of work and pensions against benefit claimants including the disabled. We simply must have a society that cares for people and not a society which actually does the opposite. Zero-hour contracts are damning, yet all we hear from the Conservative government are soundbites to say 'some' people like them. How out of touch does it have to get?
Alternatively, the Labour manifesto is offering people hope and a future for all. It's inspiring, but all the Conservatives want to do is question how the Labour Party will pay for it. Yet when asked on how the government will pay for Trident all we hear are rehearsed lines of spin. How strong and stable is that?
It's all a case of promises promises and surely by now people are waking up to it all. They must be alert to the fact that actually, the Conservative party are the party of 'broken promises!' What is it with strong and stable? If you say it enough will people swallow it? “We’re all in this together.” Remember that? The reality is the banking crash was the result of an unregulated market, and had to be bailed out by taxpayers. Since then the banks have given out over £100 billion in bonuses to bankers and I'm afraid the government has done absolutely nothing to help us retrieve some of that money. It's simply not good enough. British people deserve better than this. Could there be a clearer contrast between the many and the few? That’s why we think it’s only fair to introduce what is called a ‘Robin Hood tax’ on the City. This is actually a very modest levy of 0.5% on financial transactions, but it will bring in billions of pounds that will be used to properly fund the public services that have been decimated since the financial crisis. Instead of allowing huge wealth to exist outside society, we seem to be in a situation where we're building a country for the few at the expense of the many and it's something the government will deny but cannot justify!
It's all very well unless you happen to find yourself sick and disabled with an incurable, degenerative disease. Despite a life time working, two jobs for years. Disabled people are dying in poverty because of Tory policies, shamed and humiliated by the system that just wants us to all go away and die in silence. Tory voters can see this just as well as voters of other parties. Quite how they justify staying with the party, whose intention is to make them less well off, is another thing entirely.
In real terms workers in this country have taken a huge pay cut. More workers are using food banks than ever before. Will Theresa May offer workers a decent living wage? Or will she offer a minimum wage that's so low the young generation can't afford to leave home, and where adults don't earn enough to pay basic bills? As a result parents are now facing a struggle to keep children at home, where once those kids would leave home and set up on their own. It's heart breaking for all concerned. People used to have savings, set aside for days when it rained. It rains quite a lot these days but where are the umbrellas?
The Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers (9 December 1989) is a principles-based charter of human rights that apply specifically to the workforce in the European Union. It is used as an interpretative aid by the Court of Justice of the European Union in construing the meaning of legislation and developing case law. It was initially drafted in 1989. All member states have adopted the text. (Initially, the United Kingdom under Margaret Thatcher's government did not adopt the charter, but the UK subsequently adopted the Charter in 1998.)
Articles 1-3, free movement of workers;
Articles 4-6, freedom to choose employment, for fair remuneration, with access to free job placement services;
Articles 7-10, improvement of working conditions, rest time, paid annual leave, stipulated by law, collective or individual agreement;
Articles 10, right to social protection and adequate social security, and adequate social assistance
Articles 11-14, freedom of association, collective bargaining, the right to resort to collective action including the right to strike, but with derogation for the police, armed forces and core civil servic;
Article 15, right to vocational training;
Article 16, equal treatment for men and women;
Articles 17-18, information, consultation and participation of workers to be developed along appropriate lines;
Article 19, health protection and safety at the workplace;
Articles 20-26, protection of children, adolescents, elderly persons, and disabled persons;
Articles 27-30, implementation of the charter through legislative measures, led by the Commission.
Theresa May talks about strengthening workers’ rights by saying Brexit will do just that. She claims the greatest extension of rights and protections for employees will happen when we leave the EU. Employees will have a greater stake in the companies they work for, writes our prime minister. But what about the employers in small businesses who're struggling? Her statement regarding workers rights is an absolute joke - and the joke is on us. If you want to read her statement I'm sure it's splashed over the front page of every Conservative-loving newspaper and tabloid from here to Timbucktoo, but it doesn't mean it's right. What is brainwashing anyway?
We hear the soundbites telling us Labour will take us back to the 70s, with its terrible winter of discontent, yet it was Ted Heath's Conservative government who presided over it. The amount of unfactual nonsense being spread around is a disgrace. We should be up waving fists at the lies and the damned spin! We deserve better! We deserve Labour!
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Alwyn Jones for Political Provocateur