even when you see it coming…

Just before Christmas 2007. Somewhere in Westminster –

SW …was set a target to reduce its annual budget from £266 million to £186 million. A reduction of £80 million is quite sharp-it is roughly a third of the base budget. This year, with one year to go before that target needs to be met, your budget is £236 million. You have gone down by £30 million, but you have another £50 million to go to meet that target. Does that imply that there is slash and burn on the horizon?

VH …It is a very challenging target.

SW …It is quite a tall order, considering that over four years, you have made a reduction of only £30 million. Are you confident that it will be achieved?

VH …We are. As I say, we have identified sufficient savings schemes so that we will be able to live within our reduced financial envelope in future years.

March 2008. Message from the Union –

Imposition of Pay Offer – we are now in dispute. Management have now announced that they do not intend to re-open negotiations. Furthermore they intend to impose the pay offer and the new pay model effective from the March payroll without the agreement of the unions.

Don’t think for a minute they will make all the savings from our wages. What’s joke to you…