the kind lady at the swimming baths
is looking a bit down in the mouth
last week she lent me her token for the lockers
(i never remember to bring a pound for the lockers)
i ask her what's up
as if i couldn't have guessed
snip! snip! snip!
i sense a case of government cuts coming on
the council is demanding that all its employees sign a new contract
they must agree to waive their rights to a weekend allowance
for working anti-social hours
in other words
these low-paid workers stand to lose 2600 squid a year
they must also be willing to work at any pool across the city
(in the largest local authority in europe)
while agreeing to a pension cut...
or they lose their jobs
this lady has been working at the baths for thirty years
sacrificing her family life at weekends to support her kids
and now she's wondering if it's all worth it
wouldn't it be better to get out now and sign on?
her grand-daughter has worked hard
to get through her a-levels
but has balked at higher education debts
and has instead found herself a 'job'
an eight hours a week contract on minimum wage
(four pounds something an hour)
no sick pay
no pension contributions
so the grand-daughter has come to a decision
she is going to become cannon fodder
in someone else's war
she has decided to join the military
in heaven's name why, i ask?
because she gets a free education
and a chance to 'see the world'
so there we have it
how incentives work
for working class kids in modern britain