"Stick it to the man"? I should coco.

I’ve been pondering the subject of the public sector strikes today, not least because of my own current and annoying dealings with public sector workers of late. My tax code has been messed up, and I currently pay 50% tax because of some nebulous “tax owed from a previous year” that Inland Revenue has failed on four occasions to explain and provide details of. Each time I telephone them, and explain patiently to the call centre drone that the amount of tax they claim I owe amounts to more than I have actually earned, gross, in the last four years. Each time they agree my PAYE amounts have been miscalculated by them, and each time they then fail to remedy it after promising me that it will be remedied.

These people who are mismanaging my tax affairs, are the same people that if the papers are to be believed have been exposed mismanaging the tax affairs of several million other people in this country. I am not alone. These people are also the same people who are anxious to protect their extremely generous pension deals, and the fact that they can retire a number of years earlier than the rest of us onto a pension deal far more generous than most of the rest of us.

It annoys me when I see so many posts on the internet – often from students – trying to rally support for striking public sector workers. I suppose it is always seen as the done thing for students and many of the low paid masses to “stick it to the man” at any opportunity. And when smug-face Cameron and his Liberal tea boy side-kick come on the box, I can see the attraction of sticking it to “the man”. However, let us not forget that “the man” that is being stuck at, is in fact all of us as tax payers. Just think for a moment at what this is all about. What these public sector workers – the same incompetents who are mismanaging so many people’s tax affairs, and similar incompetence in so many other government departments (see national papers’ exposés every week for further details) – are actually whining about is the fact that they want you and me to continue to pay over the odds in NI and tax so that they can retire several years earlier than us with a pension deal far better than us that is all PAID FOR BY US. Just remember that the next time you feel like “sticking it to the man”.

Maybe when the civil service delivers value for money and does a hard days work to match all the cleaners, plumbers, builders, bus drivers, call centre operatives and so on and so on, we might entertain paying some extra from our hard earned money for their privilege. But until we see that value for money from them, the public sector does not find favour at this door to skin me and all the other hard working citizens of this country to pay for their cushy retirement.