Tag Archives: Frances O’Grady

Has George Osborne hoodwink the nation with his autumn statement

George Osborne just boasted in Parliament that the economy is fixed and his policies are working. After three years of flatlining, he really shouldn’t have.

Because for most people, this is no recovery at all. As prices continue rising faster than wages, millions of working people and families are finding it harder just to get by.

On average, working people are £1,600 a year worse off under this government. And still the Tories won’t agree to our call to freeze gas and electricity prices.

In other words: the Chancellor is boasting about a recovery that is not being felt by most people in Britain..

I say that many people has a message for this government Britain needs an economy that works for everyone, but the Tories are only looking out for a privileged few. Britain deserves better than that. Labour has a plan: get more homes built, get young people into jobs, expand free childcare to make work pay, and freeze gas and electricity bills. A Labour government would make our economy work for people like you.

Checkout this Youtube and remember to tell the coaition to stop playing their scratch record:

It’s been purported 5 December that George Osbourne autumn statement is a ruthless act class war which is too sure up Conservative Supporters and rubbish the lower and middle incomes living standards. It’s no surprise it alleges marginal increase in output new record levels of employment and dubious forecasts of future economic success to declare that his polices are working.

It’s no wonder that working people face growing hardship with 15% wiped off the value of their wages which suggest that George Osbourne has not add up his sums right.

It’s further alleged that they economic programme was never about the so called collective hardship to resolve a difficult economic situation.

Slashing living standards of the lower and middle incomes whether in work unemployed or retired is not an unfortunate side effect. This is central to their programme by increasing the pension age for public service employees and state pensions.

website-banner4National Pensioners Convention research indicates that life expectancy may be falling especially as lower living standards and cuts in local services will take their toll.

Hey folks who would concur that that 2+2=4 10+20=30 well I’m sure most would agree however to leading economists has written in a leading national newspaper that George Osbourne sums does not add up. What am I reading right will be the answer from the Conservatives surely there must be a mistake somewhere. Er no you are reading it right depending which rags you read matey. Sound the alarm and let him know ASAP.

Yet Britain’s leading experts on tax and spending have said that living standards would be lower at the end of the current parliament than at the start, as they backed claims by the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, that family budgets were being squeezed hard under the coalition.

Delivering its judgment on George Osborne’s autumn statement, the Institute for Fiscal Studies took issue with the way Labour had calculated its estimate of a £1,600 loss to the average family in the three years since the coalition came to power in 2010 but said it was “pretty consistent” with survey data showing a big drop in household incomes between 2009-10 and 2011-12.

Paul Johnson, the IFS’s director, said there was a lack of reliable figures for the current year, but added: “We do know from household surveys that income fell sharply in 2010 and 2011. It is almost certainly significantly lower now than it was in 2010.

“And while it should start to grow, it will surely still be below its 2010 level by the time we get to the election in 2015.”

Osborne sought to counter Labour’s claims this week by using a different way of calculating incomes to show total household incomes rose by 3.9% between their pre-recession peak of early 2008 and the second quarter of 2013.

Johnson said the yardstick for household incomes used by the chancellor was not normally used to measure living standards, and an IFS study found that it had failed to detect a squeeze on real spending power in any of the four big recessions Britain has experienced since the early 1970s.

“As a series it [Osborne’s measure] behaves quite differently both since 2008 and over long periods of time to other series measuring living standards,” Johnson said.

“It includes some income which does not accrue to the household sector at all. And its actual construction is opaque. It tells us something about household incomes but it should certainly not be used in isolation to measure how they are changing.”

The IFS said Osborne’s adoption of that National Accounts measure of household disposable income meant “non-profit institutions serving households”, such as universities, were included alongside areas like pension savings, which have declined, freeing up more disposable income.

The Balls measure, it added, did not include changes to tax and benefits and used the retail prices index – no longer considered a reliable gauge of inflation by the Office for National Statistics – to come up with the statement that real wages had fallen by £1,600.

“That said a £1,600 fall is a fall of about 6%. That is pretty consistent with what we know from survey data happened to household incomes between 2009-10 and 2011-12,” said Johnson.

The IFS director said it was not surprising that household incomes were lower than before the recession and had fallen since 2010.

“We have just lived through the deepest recession in generations and measured output is still below its pre-crisis level. And earnings have been hit particularly hard. In part that is the flipside of the strong employment numbers and is directly related to the apparent fall in productivity.”

The IFS was critical of the chancellor’s spending promises, including the freeze on fuel duty, introduction of marriage allowances, national insurance cut and freeze in business rates, costing £2.5bn, without concrete plans to fund them.

Of the plan to expand university student numbers by selling the student loan book, Johnson said: “This may work in the near-term fiscal numbers, but economically it makes little sense. Selling the loan book will be broadly fiscally neutral in the long run, bringing in more money now at the expense of less money later on. Lifting the cap on numbers will cost money every year.”

More broadly, he said, this tactic was a theme of the autumn statement. “Continuing to announce tax cuts and to make new spending commitments, unfunded beyond 2015-16, can only increase the difficulty of reaching the fiscal balance he is targeting.”

The IFS said the chancellor’s plan to balance the budget by 2018-19 involved an acceleration in the pace of spending cuts from 2.3% a year in the five years from March 2011 to March 2016 to 3.7% a year in the three years after that.

The thinktank agreed with the independent Office for Budget Responsibility that this would involve shrinking the state to a level not seen since at least 1948. The IFS said this would hold true even if debt interest payments and infrastructure spending were added to the running costs of Whitehall departments.

To avoid a stepping up of the pace of spending cuts in the next parliament would require welfare cuts or tax increases worth £12bn, the IFS said.

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Today’s IFS analysis confirms that spending cuts will go on and on as George Osborne makes austerity permanent.

“This has nothing to do with economics, but is all about a rightwing political project.

“The chancellor is using the fallout from the global recession to permanently cut services and shrink the state back to where it was in 1948.

“This is not what voters want. They may have accepted the need for harsh medicine in the wake of the crash, but they want a cure that delivers rising living standards, decent services and a fair economy.”

Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “It’s an embarrassing blow to the chancellor that his favoured measure of living standards turns out to include the incomes of charities and universities. The IFS is also right to question whether George Osborne’s sums for future years really do stack up.”

What Geogre Osbourne has neglect to mention is that millions of people finding it harder each month to make ends meet, the Chancellor had nothing to say in yesterday’s Autumn Statement.

Since David Cameron and George Osborne came to office working people are now on average over £1,600 a year worse off. Yet they gave people earning over £150,000 a huge tax cut this year.

Prices are still rising faster than wages. Official forecasts show the cost-of-living crisis will continue with working people worse off in 2015 than in 2010.

Labour will freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017. And we will make long-term changes to the energy market to stop customers being ripped off.

Under this Government bills will rise this winter and energy companies are being let off the hook. With this Chancellor, the only freeze this winter is for pensioners who can’t afford their hearing bills.

What we need is Labour’s long-term plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and earn our way to higher living standards for all. Let’s build more homes and boost apprenticeships to get a strong recovery.

Let’s make work pay by expanding free childcare for working parents and strengthening the minimum wage. And let’s get our young back to work with a compulsory jobs guarantee for under-25s and the long-term unemployed. That’s the way to get a recovery for the many and not just a few.

After the Chancellor’s statement, it’s clear working people are worse off under the Tories.

To the long list of Tory crimes must now be added grand larceny – of Labour’s policies.

Hugh Turn (say it out loud), who also trades under the name of David Cameron, shamelessly reversed his stand on fuel charges and payday loans.

He sneered at Ed Miliband’s gas and electricity price freeze, and then brought in a pale imitation that still leaves bills rising.

He rejected limits on sky-high interest rates charged by payday loan merchants, but now he favours curbs.

No wonder Ed Miliband kept his policies under wraps for so long in the face of Tory taunts that he hasn’t got any.

As soon as he goes public with a bright idea, Coalition crooks burgle it. Ed led on Syria, and phone hacking, and Cameron followed.

Labour backs the Living Wage, and Boris Johnson, friend of the super-rich, followed in London.

When the Tories start filching the Opposition’s policies, you know they’re rattled. Their Grand Autocratic Theft is a good thing, because it shows Ed Miliband is getting it right. And not-so-good because it raids his store of policies in the run-up to polling day.

Cameron’s latest theft of Labour’s clothes is barefaced cheek. Unfortunately, the clothes don’t fit, and he looks stupid in them.

Hugh Turn is revealed as the circus clown, with his pockets full of pilfered policies.

Labour has hit on a rich vein of voter support by hoisting the cost of living to the top of the political agenda. It shows they care.

The Tories claim to be ahead on the issue of the economy, but that doesn’t cut quite so much ice with people these days.

For many, “the economy” is a remote concept, something that politicians do far away in Westminster when they’ve done fiddling their expenses.

But the cost of living is in every home. It affects every family and every pensioner.

Bill Clinton’s winning slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” needs updating. It should read “It’s the cost of living, wise guy.”

Another test of Tory nerves is the level of vituperation. Unable to counter Ed’s attack on incompetent Coalition handling of the cost of living crisis, Cameron resorts to personal abuse.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, his face gets redder, his arrogance gets louder, his contempt more obvious and his insults nastier. We see the Bullingdon Boy bully behind the baby face.

It’s not a pretty sight. I don’t think it wins him any votes from uncommitted viewers of this weekly theatre of the absurd. The way he behaves tells us more about him than a thousand U-turns.

So, I’m sure that many people don’t mind him paying Labour the back-handed compliment of stealing Ed’s policies. If they can be implemented before Labour gets back into power, that’s a plus.

Why is George Osborne relying on the Bank of England and Britain’s resurgent housing market to deliver strong growth in the runup to the 2015 general election after he spurned the chance to use a surprise pick-up in the economy this year to ease the government’s austerity programme.

In an upbeat autumn statement that left his Labour shadow, Ed Balls, struggling, the chancellor produced plans to shrink the size of day-to-day state spending to its lowest level for at least 70 years and sought to neuter Ed Miliband’s cost-of-living campaign by using the proceeds of the squeeze to trim domestic fuel bills by £50 a year, freeze fuel duty for motorists and limit increases in rail fares.

On Friday morning Osborne, in a round of interviews with broadcasters, rejected Labour’s claims that workers would be £1,600 a year worse off by the end of this parliament. “People remember that the economy collapsed under the last Labour government,” he said.

Asked about the prospect of interest rates rising, he also insisted it was the government’s actions controlling public spending that were keeping interest rates low.

He spoke as Ipsos Mori released polling figures suggesting that 40% of people accept Ed Balls’s claim that Osborne is in denial about the cost-of-living crisis. By contrast, only 24% said they agreed with Osborne that his plan for economic recovery was working and 27% said they agreed with neither propostion.

On Thursday, Osborne said the state of the public finances left no room for tax cuts, although the City believes a fresh surge in the housing market expected next year will leave scope for pre-election giveaways. Interest rates are expected to remain at 0.5% until after the general election.

“This statement shows the plan is working. It’s a serious plan for a grown-up country,” the chancellor said as he warned voters that Labour would put any economic recovery at risk.

“We have held our nerve while those who predicted there would be no growth until we turned the spending taps back on have been proved comprehensively wrong. Thanks to the sacrifice and endeavour of the British people, I can today report the hard evidence that shows our economic plan is working.”

He announced forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) showing that the economy would grow by 1.4% this year and 2.4% next year – up from the 0.6% and 1.8% predicted in the March budget. “But the job is not done,” Osborne added. “By doing the right thing, we’re heading in the right direction.”

The OBR said that the acceleration in growth during 2013 had been the result of consumers running down savings to fund higher spending, and said productitivity would need to improve in order to “sustain the recovery and raise living standards”. But it said hopes for an increase in business investment this year had not been met and the UK’s trade performance had been worse than expected.

Osborne said that the consumer-driven pick-up in the economy was still not strong enough and left the budget deficit too high for the government to ease up on austerity. He said he would support companies by limiting the increase in business rates to 2% and spent £500m abolishing national insurance contributions for workers under the age of 21.

But he said measures to tackle what Labour has called Britain’s cost of living crisis had to be paid for by a cap on all welfare spending, apart from pensions and unemployment benefits, and a fresh squeeze on Whitehall departments. The independent OBR said that by 2019 the share of national income spent on the day-to-day running of the state would be the lowest since at least 1948 when modern records began.

Osborne said he wanted a “responsible recovery” and while warning of “more difficult decisions” to come he accepted the effects of Britain’s deepest postwar slump were still being felt on family budgets.

Stronger growth meant that the government needed to borrow £73bn less over the next five years than originally envisaged in the spring and that the national debt would peak in 2016-17, a year earlier than previously predicted, the chancellor said.

But Robert Chote, the OBR’s director said the upgrade was the result of a cyclical pick up in consumer spending and the housing market rather than a structural improvement. “Borrowing is lower but the hole that the government will eventually have to fill in doesn’t appear to be any smaller than it was in March,” Chote said.

The OBR is expecting house price inflation of above 5% in 2014 and 7% in 2015, with the Exchequer seeing a near doubling of property stamp duty from £9bn to £17bn between 2103-14 and 2018-19.

Osborne told MPs: “This country is working through its long term plan. Bringing down the deficit and dealing with the debt.

“Spending less on welfare and making the big decisions on infrastructure. Living within our means and cutting tax on business. Making work pay and letting people keep more of what they earn.”

But Balls said Osborne was borrowing £198bn more than he planned in 2010. “More borrowing to pay for three years of economic failure. More borrowing in just three years under this chancellor than under the last government in 13 years.

“He used to say he would balance the books in 2015. Now he expects us to congratulate him for saying he’ll do it by 2019.”

Balls brushed aside suggestions that his shouty performance in the Commons had damaged him saying “there were 350 Tory MPs shouting at the top of their voice because they don’t want to hear the truth about the cost of living crisis in our country”.

He said Osborne “was in denial about the way in which living standards were still falling”.

He insisted that the chancellor’s plans for faster spending cuts, a welfare cap and a proposal to ask MPs to vote next autumn for faster than expected fiscal consolidation in the three years after the election would not cause him problems. But he faces a difficult judgment whether to accept the Tory timetable for fiscal reduction, or back a slower pace.

He also said he may call for tax rises as well as spending cuts to scale back the deficit.

The business secretary, Vince Cable, also emphasised that, like Balls, the Lib Dems would not be forced to accept the plan for Conservative deficit reduction, which envisages for more than 80% to come from spending cuts, even if they might accept the timetable.

Cable said: “The Liberal Democrats are an independent party … Liberal Democrats have a different approach to tax and spend, in particular with an emphasis on fairness in the way the tax system operates, and our achievements in lifting low earners out of tax.

“Ultimately the electorate has got to decide what the outcome of the next election is but we will go into it as a distinct party with a distinct agenda.”

Cable also sounded a warning note, saying the housing market was “very buoyant”. He said: “There’s clearly still a danger of house prices getting out of control.”

Now here is a chance to read the report in full to make up your own mind up see:


Leading investors in HSBC reacted angrily on Thursday to a decision by George Osborne to increase his levy on banks, warning that it would restrain the dividend-paying capacity of Europe’s biggest lender.

A number of the bank’s institutional investors are furious at the Chancellor’s move to hike both the rate and the overall sum raised by the levy, which was introduced in 2011.

A major HSBC shareholder, who refused to be named, said the Treasury was “pushing the bank to a point at which it will again have to consider the issue of redomiciling” its headquarters away from the UK.

Under plans announced as part of his Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne said the targeted yield from the levy on banks’ balance sheets would increase from £2.5bn this year to £2.7bn next year and £2.9bn from 2015.

The latest increase – the fifth since the levy’s introduction – was designed to offset the benefit to banks of ongoing reductions to the rate of corporation tax, Treasury insiders said.

However, the move is likely to force HSBC’s contribution to the levy to more than $1bn (£612m) for the first time next year, and take its overall bill since Mr Osborne unveiled it three years ago to more than £1.5bn, far more than any other bank.

HSBC, which did not require direct taxpayer support during the banking crisis, said earlier this year that it anticipated paying between $800m (£490m) and $900m (£551m) in 2013.

The investor questioned the logic of Mr Osborne’s move, saying that because it was a levy on pre-tax profits, it inhibited HSBC’s dividend-paying capacity.

“It makes no sense. HSBC’s board could quite understandably take the view that the cost of being a UK-based bank has now reached a tipping point,” they added.

HSBC periodically reviews the location of its headquarters but has not done so formally since before the Independent Commission on Banking made recommendations about ring-fencing structures aimed at safeguarding taxpayers from future bank rescues.

The Chancellor’s levy has consistently failed to generate the targeted £2.5bn yield as banks have accelerated the deleveraging of their balance sheets.

Treasury officials said on Thursday that the structure of the bank levy would also be altered from January 1 2015, with changes limiting the protected deposit exclusion to insured amounts, and treating all derivative contracts as short-term.

The effect of this would be likely to mean higher charges for Wall Street banks with UK operations, according to one source.

Why is it that Central government has decided not to allow more houses to be built one can only assume that the coalition are burying themselves in the sand and that  The government must allow councils in England and Wales to borrow more money to spend on building so they can tackle housing shortages, a report says.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said nine councils, with 40,000 people on accommodation waiting lists, were unable to take on any loans at all.

It said lifting a cap on borrowing would allow up to 60,000 new homes to be built in the next five years.

But the government said there was “no magic money tree”.

It added there was still a need to cut public borrowing to improve the performance of the economy.

In 2012 the Treasury capped the amount councils could borrow against ring-fenced housing budgets, set at different levels for each area.

However, the LGA urged Chancellor George Osborne to use Thursday’s Autumn Statement to lift the provision.

He should instead allow councils “to invest in housing under normal responsible borrowing guidelines”, it said, adding that “the investment would be very low-risk and paid many times over by future rents on new homes”.

Mike Jones, chairman of the LGA’s environment and housing board, said: “There are millions of people on social housing waiting lists and councils want to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need.

“Local authorities have excellent credit ratings and we want to use our assets to help kick-start the housing recovery, but our hands are being tied.”

The LGA said the following authorities had been given no borrowing “headroom”:

  • Darlington Borough Council
  • Dudley Borough Council
  • Exeter City Council
  • Gosport Borough Council
  • Harrow Council
  • Royal Borough Greenwich Council
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council
  • Waverley Borough Council
  • Woking Borough Council

Mr Jones said: “The chancellor has an unrivalled opportunity to use this Autumn Statement to create jobs, provide tens of thousands of homes and help the economy without having to find a single extra penny.

“New homes are badly needed and councils want to get on with building them. The common sense answer is for the Treasury to remove its house building block and let us get on with it.”

Housing minister Kris Hopkins said: “As a lobbying organisation, the LGA need to realise that there is no magic money tree, and this government needs to cut public borrowing to keep interest rates down and ensure long-term economic growth.

“But under this government, the housing market has turned the corner, with house building now at its highest level since 2007, backed by up £19.5bn of public and private investment in affordable housing over the current spending review. The government will outline its broader approach in the Autumn Statement.”

Intriguingly Charities have accused the Prime Minister of giving “inaccurate” statements and raising “false hopes” by suggesting that disabled people who need an extra room are exempt from the so-called “bedroom tax”.

Eighteen chief executives of leading disabled charities have written to David Cameron criticising comments he made during Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday.

Mr Cameron was asked about calls to exempt disabled people from the spare room subsidy and responded: “Obviously, what we have done is to exempt disabled people who need an extra room.”

The charities, which include Carers UK, the RNIB and and Sense, say he has made similar remarks twice this year.

The letter states: “None of these situations reflect the reality of the Government’s policy. We are now even more concerned that the effects the policy is having on disabled people and their families are not understood in Government.”

It continues: “When senior Government figures state that these families are exempt when they are not, our organisations have to respond to the false hope this generates. We receive the relieved calls and messages from families who are struggling to pay their rent shortfall, and it falls to us to tell those families that they are, in fact, subject to these cuts and are not exempt.”

Although there are some exemptions for disabled children, many disabled people do not qualify.

They may be eligible for money from a discretionary fund but charities say the fund is not available to all and as a consequence the policy is having a “devastating” impact on many people who need an extra room for carers or equipment.

In the letter to the Prime Minister they list the types of people affected, which include “families of disabled children who need overnight care workers to stay to give them a break” and “people whose extra room is needed for home adaptations or equipment, including dialysis machines, oxygen tanks, hoists and wheelchairs”.

A consortium of 50 charities had written to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) calling for disabled people to be exempt from the spare room subsidy.

The DWP responded: “We are determined to support those who might need extra help through these necessary reforms. That is why we set aside £190m this year to do precisely this, with £25m specifically for disabled people living in specially adapted properties.

“The courts have ruled we are meeting our equality duties to disabled people who are affected by the policy.

“The removal of the spare room subsidy means we still pay the majority of most claimants’ rent, but the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay the £500m cost of claimants’ extra bedrooms.”

Here is another example of Iain Duncan Smith cock up again we have learnt the full extent of how to waste money. Mr Duncan Smith told a committee of MPs in July and the Commons in September that the 2017 plan remained in place.

But he has now said some people receiving Employment Support Allowance may not be transferred in time.

The government estimates about 700,000 people in this group could be moved to Universal Credit after 2017.

In an interview Mr Duncan Smith said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “may take a little longer” as it was dealing with a vulnerable group and the official in charge of the project, Howard Shiplee, may want to take more time.

Mr Duncan Smith insists despite the possible late transfer of claimants the new benefit system will “essentially” be complete by 2017.

Ministers will argue that these claimants are among those least able to work so least likely to lose out by not being part of Universal Credit.

So the next time the coalition continue to play their scratch record on blaming Labour let us all remind the coalition of their failed record that is happening on their watch


Zero Contracts VS Part and full Time Employment

photo1Recent there has been a sudden flux of zero contracts that has come to the forefront. I have to declare a conflict of interest I have been on one but found it to be very uncomfortable as it does not guarantee full time employment. Most companies’ big, middle and small uses the contract both to recruit unemployed and short term solutions to fill a gap until their companies position improves during the small growth in the economy.

photo 2Some of the worst offenders are recruitment agencies as they do not have to go out of their way to find you employment due to the fact that some of the recruiting agencies are going to administration and they have either one or no client on their books. Funny enough medium and large recruitment agencies say that lots of vacancies when you register with them then you wait and you get fed up and decide to give them a call they say to you we don’t have anything in that field or you don’t meet the client’s criteria when an individual challenge them on what are the criteria there is not a decent reply from the agencies.

fuckoffIntriguingly the coalition says that they don’t create employment but it’s the private sectors that create employment. Hmm am I missing something here, how many of us recall David Cameron traveling to the Middle East with a delegation of arm dealers to sell weapons to their counterparts is he not creating employment on behalf of the UK government. Oh let us not forget the recent trip to China where George Osbourne and Boris Johnson promoted UK business and relaxing the visa to Chinese business people to enter to the UK. It’s about time that the coalition stop using the one size fits all approach.

photoThe coalition continues state that they have created jobs in the private sector somehow many people see those the jobs that the coalition talks about. If this was true then the so-called jobs are based on part time and zero contract. Yet the coalition alleges that unemployment is going down somehow the figures don’t add up as the Job Centre Plus are being pressurized to bring down the figures so what does the Job Centre Plus to address this by sending unemployed to other providers for two years to bring down the numbers on the bases they are paid by results so in a nutshell if you don’t get someone into training or employment the company will not get paid so much for pay by result.

Many of my friends and foes continue to banter they were employed by a conservative or a Labour government but was made redundant, or loss their jobs by the company they worked for under a coalition. There is a common trend or ring to this that both Conservatives and LibDems which includes Labour failed to address so in a nutshell I blame BOTH the present and previous governments which I made no apology for stating an opinion that I strongly believe in.

For another debate on Zero Contract see Youtube:

The contracts do not guarantee work from one week to the next.

But the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said just over half of the 456 zero-hours workers it questioned did not want more hours.

It added, however, there was a need to improve poor practice such as notice periods given when work is cancelled.

Only about a third of the 1,000 employers questioned had a contractual provision or formal policy outlining their approach to arranging and cancelling work for zero-hours workers.

The CIPD added many employers and zero-hours staff were unaware of the employment rights they may be entitled to.

The survey found four out of five respondents on zero-hours contracts said they were never penalised if they were unavailable for work.

But 40% of workers subject to the contracts said they had shifts cancelled without notice and the CIPD is recommending that compensation be paid in such a situation.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said: “The use of zero-hours contracts in the UK economy has been underestimated, oversimplified and in some cases, unfairly demonised.”

In total, researchers spoke to 2,500 workers on both zero-hours and regular contracts.

The CIPD said zero-hours contracts, which are widely used in fields including catering, leisure, retail and the public sector, provide flexibility for workers and employers.

Some 38% of those on zero-hours contracts wanted more hours but when compared to the average UK employee, they are just as satisfied with their job.

Only 58% of UK employees said there were happy with their work-life balance, compared to 65% of those on zero-hours contracts.

The study confirmed the CIPD’s previous estimate that around a million people are on zero-hours contracts.

Steve Radley, director of policy at manufacturers’ organisation EEF, said: “The debate on zero-hours contracts has become unbalanced and needs greater focus on the benefits it can bring to both workers and employers.

“With skills in scarce supply, zero hours help employers to tap into specialist skills when they are needed and to draw on the experience of older workers.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Whilst not every employee on a zero hours contract is exploited, this survey shows that job insecurity and low pay are concerns for a significant number of workers, including white collar staff.

“The real problems lie with bosses who aren’t interested in good practice and are more concerned with squeezing staff to boost their profit margins.

“That’s why we need legislative action to stamp out the growing abuse of workers on zero hours contracts and other forms of insecure work.”

Shadow trade minister Ian Murray said Labour would outlaw the exploitative use of zero-hours contracts.

He said the research highlighted concerns on bad practice and exploitation.

The government is to launch a consultation on how to tackle abuses in zero hours contracts but the CIPD says efforts should be focused on improving understanding of how the contracts are used within the law rather than trying to restrict their use through regulation.

Let’s revisit the the late 1970s to the present time over the full, part, and temporary employment.

What is the the legacy of Margaret Thatcher

The 1980s is increasingly being seen as deep history – 50% of the Datablog team were born in the late 1980s and were just toddling into school when she resigned in November 1990.

If the past is a foreign country (they do things differently there), there is nowhere more foreign than May 1979, when the Conservatives entered Downing Street. In fact, it’s getting increasingly difficult to tell – many of the datasets we rely on now weren’t compiled until the early 1990s. So what kind of Britain did the country’s first woman prime minister come to rule in 1979 – and how has it changed?

These are some of the datasets which actually go back that far – mostly from the Office for National Statistics, and some from the excellent British Political Facts.

She may or may not have caused it, but Britain under Thatcher saw huge economic, demographic and cultural change. These are just some of the facts

The UK was a smaller country then – 56.2m people lived here, compared to 62.3m people in 2010. That had been pretty stagnant since 1970, actually going down for four years before 1979 as the economy faltered. During the first years of Thatcher’s reign, fewer people came to live in the UK – acceptances for settlement went down from 69,670 in 1979 to 53,200 by the time she resigned in 1990. Since then, the economy has boomed and eastern European countries have joined the EU. In fact, for much of the decade there were more people leaving the UK than coming here. Now it is the reverse. Net migration now is at a record high.

The population has changed too. There are no accurate figures for the UK’s ethnic breakdown before the 1991 census, so we can’t say what Britain’s ethnic mix was. By the 2001 census, four years after the end of the Conservatives in power, the UK’s population was 92.1% white. According to the latest ONS estimates, that figure has gone down now as Britain becomes more diverse; 83.35% of England and Wales is now defined as “white British”.

We’re living longer – life expectancy overall went up from 70.3 for men and 76.4 for women in 1979 by three years for both sexes by 1990. In a developed country, life expectancy should go up as medicine improves and the economy grows. But in 1985 it went down briefly, as it did again in 1993, both after huge recessions.

There are more of the super-old around now. Some 15% of babies born in 1979 would live to reach 100 – that figure is 26% now.

Ironically for a prime minister who focussed so much on family life, the 1980s saw the end of the traditional family unit for many. Divorce rates reached 13.4 per 1,000 married population in 1985, although that wasn’t as high as the peak of 1994 after the recession. They have gone down now. The most recent figures show that 119,589 people got divorced in 2010, roughly half of the number of people who got married the same year.

Of course, fewer people are getting married now – only 231,490 in the latest year, down from 368,853 in 1979, which was the highest figure since the war brides of 1940.

Which also means less babies being born to a traditional family unit too – in 1979, only 12.5% of babies were born outside marriage. By 1991 that had gone up to 29.8%.

As Britain learnt to come to terms with the idea of “no such thing as society”, unemployment shot up under the Conservatives to levels not seen since the Great Depression. The figures show how it lags behind the economy – even after the recession was over, many were unemployed.

Britain got hit by two major recessions under Thatcher, which sandwiched the boom of the 1980s but even that boom never saw GDP grow by more than a couple of percent. Obviously in 2013, George Osborne would kill for growth of 2.2%.

If the deficit is the obsession of this government, in 1979 it was inflation, which had rocketed into the twenties in the 1970s.

The figures show how it went down under the Conservatives – after a struggle as it rose to 21% in the 1980s – decreases which largely continued under Labour and have only just started to reverse.

Perceived wisdom is also that manufacturing disappeared under Thatcher. If so, it was something that had already started. In 1970, manufacturing accounted for 20.57% of UK GDP. By 1979 that was down to 17.62% of GDP. By the time she left office, that decline had continued – albeit at a slightly slower pace, down to 15.18%. Now it is much lower, according to the ONS – down to 9.68% in 2010.

Thatcher never tried the scale of austerity cuts facing the UK coalition government now. In fact if you look at spending as a percentage of GDP it actually rose in her first years of power, going down during the 1980s before rising in the early 1990s under John Major and chancellor Kenneth Clarke. Her reign actually ended with more of the workforce employed in the public sector than now – 23.1% as opposed to around 20% now.

She may have been our first prime minister but men still ended her decade paid a lot more than women – especially if you look at the bald figures below.

However, if you change it and look at women’s full-time pay as a percentage of male full time pay it shows women working full time in 1990 paid 76% male full-time pay – up from 73%. It has improved since then – in 2011 it was 84.8%.

One of the defining features of the 1980s was the rise of the house price economy, especially with the sales of council houses.

At the same time, interest rates rose to record levels of 17% and repossessions rose to match.

In 1991, 75,500 properties were repossesed, the peak, and 186,649 cases reached the courts.

The unions were a major force in 1970s Britain, with around one in four of the UK population a member – 13.2m people. Those numbers went down significantly by 1990 to 9.8m – and in 2008/9 to 7.4m or one in eight of the population.

At the same time days lost to industrial disputes shot down too – from around 900,000 a month when Thatcher became prime minister to 183,000 in November 1990 – albeit with millions of days lost in the miner’s strike.

Poverty went up under Thatcher, according to these figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. In 1979, 13.4% of the population lived below 60% of median incomes before housing costs. By 1990, it had gone up to 22.2%, or 12.2m people, with huge rises in the mid-1980s.

With it came a huge rise in inequality. This shows the gini coefficient, which is the most common method of measuring inequality. Under gini, a score of one would be a completely unequal society; zero would be completely equal. Britain’s gini score went up from 0.253 to 0.339 by the time Thatcher resigned.