Criminals have threatened strike action over a proposed 40% wage cut.
The government today stated that 40% of prisoners’ pay will be deducted from their wage packets in order to recompense victims of crime. Some offenders in open prisons travel to work while others do useful work at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
Fred ‘Gripper’ Harris, currently serving four years for burglary at Wandsworth said ‘It’s a diabolical liberty. We only get £25 per week and out of that we’ve got to pay tax, and national insurance and now this. The cost of commuting by rail is a joke and on top of all that, we have to put in for a card and collection every time it’s someone’s birthday in here. I’ve hardly got anything left to buy a bit of snout with at the end of the week.
Sid ‘Tea Leaf’ Mason, prisoners’ shop steward said ‘Although this is a time of public austerity and budget cuts, this level of wage cut leaves our members no option but to go out on strike. I mean, what are they going to do: put us in jail?’
Henry Fortescue-Smythe of the Howard League for Penal Reform said ‘How is the dishonest working man, who gets his board and lodging completely free at the tax-payers expense, supposed to make ends meet? With increased prices in the supermarket and soaring energy prices having absolutely no effect on them, this proposal leaves convicted criminals with no option’.
However, a legal challenge is being made to the strike proposal by Theresa May, Home Secretary on the grounds that all members were not properly balloted. This fact is disputed by ‘Tea Leaf’ Mason who says he asked everybody in the breakfast queue, while Gripper stood next to him brandishing an iron bar.
David Cameron commented on the situation. He said ‘Prisoners continue to get a good deal in twenty-first century Britain and continue to receive a generous final salary pension scheme. I often feel that going to work is a bit like being in an open prison, where you are let out each evening but have to go back the next day’.
Prisoners who work will also face a cut in budgets for their Christmas party celebrations and will have to pay half the cost themselves. They will also have their tea break times reduced and will be sent on occasional and pointless PowerPoint and time management courses.