Thanks, but I’d rather not have the cash…

Warning, British politics ahead…

Today, another fearmongering piece of toilet paper came through the letterbox, proudly proclaiming that I need to be shit-scared of the following…


My income tax cut is under threat should I vote Labour in the coming weeks!

Factual dubiousness aside – the Labour tax plan doesn’t suggest massive income tax rises for that many people – lets assume it was literally true. Let’s assume that the last tax cut (the raise in the tax-free allowance this year) will actually be reversed. Let’s look at the tax cut I’ve been granted this year under the Conservatives.

My pay slip shows this as about £11.60 – you can now use a tax calculator and the nationally-agreed pay scale for academic-related activities to deduce how much I earn if you like.

Now, the question I would like to pose to Conservatives – either official representatives or their voters – seriously, what the fuck am I meant to do with this?


It’s not enough to buy private health insurance. That’s £93 per month on average.

It won’t pay off my student loan much faster. £10 a month would clear it in about 83 years from a rough estimate.

It won’t pay for private school for any potential kids I have. That’s a grand a month on average.

It won’t get me a car or fuel it, and it won’t exactly grow into a massive retirement fund.

I doubt I could employ someone and start a business. I might be able to pay someone to mow the lawn for me with it, which I’m sure will fix the economy pronto.

Hell, at best I figure it’ll buy me two pints of Brew Dog’s fizzy-piss-flavoured craft beers per month!

Maybe I’ll just up my charitable contributions by £10, that’s probably the best use I can think for it.

“Ah, but be grateful!” you might say “it’ll mean a lot to people on minimum wage!”. Maybe, sure. Maybe it’s a lot when you’re super poor – sure, I’ve been there. But even when I was, that was a fraction of rent, a fraction of commuting costs, and would only be a week’s worth of ramen. But I should still be grateful, because it’s rewarding me as a member of a Hard Working Family™.

But, more pressingly, what has this wonderful sum of money cost me? Let’s rattle a few things off that have been going on under neoliberal rule in the UK…

The wages in my sector have stagnated or even reversed in real terms in the last few years. The students I teach are now paying more (about 10x even my early-millennial ass did) for less return as graduate wages collapse. Education is being undermined. Children in school are having their meals threatened. The disabled are being forced into tests to see if they’re fit to work – and then die afterwards as if it was designed for it. We’re going to ruin the economy through giving the middle-finger to our nearest neighbours because Strong and Stable. Rents are going up uncontrolled. Funding for local services are going down, meaning rises in council tax rates alone will eat up anything income tax cuts will grant me. They’re punishing children who dared to be born third and poor. They’re dismantling the NHS, replacing it with a health pseudo-service whose principle aim is to turn government subsidy into private profit – as the rail privatisation has done repeatedly, having increased their fares above inflation for over a decade now. And I’m sure the list continues and people with more knowledge than me can be more precise about it.

All of this is going to, and has, cost me the equivalent of hundreds a month. If you want to put a figure on it a back-of-an-envelope calculation for my loss in real-terms earnings since Conservatives started is around £200 a month at least. The crash in the pound after that referendum cluster-fuck wiped even more off my earnings by contrast  to my overseas colleagues. Cheers guys, the extra tenner almost makes up for it! The price of living is going up and up – and they want me to get down on my knees and worship them for the extra tenner they granted me? That cut, which sounds like it could go somewhere useful, has been eaten up ten times over just by the shit they’ve caused granting even bigger cuts to the far more exceedingly wealthy.


Can they just fuck off with their shit, already?

2 thoughts on “Thanks, but I’d rather not have the cash…

  1. I know this is a rant, but when we get things like…
    “The wages in my sector have stagnated or even reversed in real terms in the last few years.”
    Can we haz sources plz? I don’t mean I disbelieve you, I just mean this sort of thing should be sourced, otherwise we’re all just idiots believing shit we read in blogs.

    • I’m mostly taking that info from the UCU, which reports pay rises below inflation (~1% rises v. an average 2% inflation yearly) for the most of the last decade:

      Their last newsletter – which is either back on my desk or has made its way to the recycling already – was a little more explicit in its headline figure from the last ten years, and probably took into account living costs in major cities where universities are based. It’s not extreme, the wage repression going on with zero-hours and gig-economy contracts is far more damaging, but it’s at the same time that VC salaries are way higher, so there’s money for those people, just not for the staff that actually do what a university is there for:


Go on, derp away...

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