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Well, yes Mr Harris, yes…..

The result is a surreal sense of denial. Ministers refuse to meaningfully negotiate, and hide behind official pay review bodies. At the same time, they repeatedly interfere in discussions between unions and employers, usually in the worst possible way: last week, for example, saw reports that an offer from rail companies to the RMT of a 10% pay rise over two years had been blocked by ministers, who were dead against any such increase, and insistent that any deal should include drastic changes to working conditions.

1) The whole point of having the pay review bodies is to plan wages. To do that scientific socialism stuff of coming up with an objective value of the labour being employed. What are you, a socialism denier?

2) We prove, again, Baumol’s point about innovation, productivity and planning. It is markets that improve productivity through competition. We don’t get these productivity increases in planned activities because we’ve not got the competition. This is why Twitter can – after a certain convulsion of course – fire 50% of the staff and continue merrily on its way and British Rail still has the manning levels of three decades back for the same output. The entire point of advancing technology is that we can gain the same output with less labour. Therefore working conditions are always changing – that’s the entire damn point of the exercise.

3 thoughts on “Well, yes Mr Harris, yes…..”

  1. A government training scheme could be part of the answer. For every job on the rails there are 100 applicants (200 in the North) who could be trained to do the job.
    The mere threat of this reserve army of employables would probably be sufficient to put Mick Lynch back in his box, but I’d prefer wholesale replacement as an act of spite, and to teach any others (e.g. on TfL) a lesson.

  2. If ministers demand the unions must follow recommendations of pay review bodies but prevent employers from doing so, there is a legitimate complaint. Either the minister is negotiating or the pay review body is deciding the result – you can’t have it both ways.

  3. MP’s seem happy to follow the recommendations of the MP pay review body which strangely seems to always decide that MP’s need to be paid more

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