Friday, November 05, 2010

Are we really that well off?

Statistics can often appear to be strange. The National Office of statistics has come up with some surprising figures for this area. The Guardian trumpets these findings in an article entitled: 'Data shows almost one-fifth of UK households had no one in work last year.' It is the part of that article that mentions Nairn, Moray and Inverness that makes one sit up:
'In both Wales and Northern Ireland, the percentage of workless households was 23%. In Scotland, it reached 20%, and in England 18%. Within England there was wide regional variation – 24% of households in the north-east were workless, but only 14% in the south-east.
In Bedfordshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire and Inverness and Nairn and Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey, the rate was as low as around one in 10.'
Now quite a few of us might have some work but how well paid is it in comparison with what one would consider the more affluent English Counties mentioned above? These statistics could give the wrong impression about our local economy. Is Nairnshire Scotland's Surrey? Could the rest of Scotland start thinking that we're twice as well off as the rest of the country and just shove us to the back of the queue when it comes to public funding? It would be interesting to know how our average salaries compare in the private sector in comparsion with Surrey and Berkshire for example. There is census data available that gives information on employment and we don't look too different from the Scottish average although we do have a larger proportion of economically inactive persons - not surprising when Nairn has always been a retirement choice.
Sadly the number of households in work here might change rapidly with the forthcoming closures of airbases and cuts in the public sector but this report might have already left a different impression in the ether in advance of the painful processes that lie ahead for Highland and Moray communities.


Greg said...

Although average salaries will almost certainly be lower than Bedfordshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire, the cost of living (especially property) will no doubt also be much lower.

Nairnac said...

Oh, I don't know. I heard that Shanghai was full of Hedge Fund Managers, or was it just hedge managers ?

Anonymous said...

Cost of living much lower? Don't think so, especially when it comes to retail and groceries. We are subjected to higher costs with less choice and availability in Nairn.

Nairnac said...

...and IDS will soon have those who are out of work going out doing a bit of manual graft. So the unemployed will be doing the work that other people would otherwise have been paid to do. This is blunt Tory ideology being poured on the country at a remarkable rate, and all thanks to Danny A and his power hungry chums.....

Graisg said...

That is the danger isn't it Nairnac, let's say for instance the boys working for the town get downsized and privatised. The firm that gets that contract, say with a reduced workforce, could then pick up a nice little earner as gangmasters, issuing the unemployed with strimmers and rubber gloves for picking up litter.
I'd have no problem with it however, if the work was something the community needed, at the minimum wage but, most importantly, didn't rob anyone of a job.

Nairnac said...

I object to this british ruling classes view that manual labour is something worthy only to be viewed as a kind of punishment. The most satisfying work I've ever had was manual work, but the disdain with which it is regarded by politicians and the like in this country means you are better rewarded financially by becoming a paper shuffling stuffed suit filling in risk assessments and consultation reviews.
Why can't Goldman Sachs or some of the banks propped up by the taxpayer take on some of these additional people instead of being allowed to continue the culture of mind boggling bonuses which seems to be back in full swing again for Dave Snooty and his city chums.
Working in an office with those pinstriped sleazeballs really would be a punishment as well as acting as an eye-opening exercise for both sides as to how the other half lives.
Lloyd Blankfein did after all claim Goldman Sachs are performing 'Gods work' and aren't just the 'blood sucking squid wrapped around the face of humanity' that most people see as the more accurate description.
Next stop for this lot is the return of the workouse.
The old community centre will make a nice one when Danny and Dave get their ultimate way.
Make no mistake, this government is here to let the old Etonians give the working class the kicking they believe they deserve, and our ginger rodent homeboy Danny is eagerly fagging for them.

Nairnac said...

Graisg "I'd have no problem with it however, if the work was something the community needed, at the minimum wage but, most importantly, didn't rob anyone of a job."

You know as well as I do that's not the Tory agenda.

Graisg said...

Now Nairnac, the rodent gibe at Danny backfired on Harriet Harman and who knows it might even jeopardise your position as Shawdow Equalities Minister for the Nairnshire Liberation Front.

Brian @ said...

The BBC headline "Long-term jobless 'could face compulsory manual labour'" is very misleading.

Long-term unemployed have done this for 15 years.

It was introduced as "Project Work" by John Major's government, and then expanded as "New Deal" by Tony Blair's government.

The surprise is that something that's been going on for 15 years should suddenly become a news headline now!

They've done this since the 1990's

Nairnac said...

Aye, fair do's, it's a bit hard on the rodents right enough. They do perform some useful functions after all unlike our man Dan.