The learning process among the non-job holders at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) grinds away only very slowly, as shown by the latest offering from the self-satisfied Andrew Allison. Once again he complains about the rate being offered for a contract position, and once again he fails to do his homework.
Allison’s target is an advert for a Programme Manager at an unnamed NHS Trust: the rate quoted is in the range of £200 to £300 per day. He at least concludes that he doesn’t know whether this is an appropriate amount, but still shows no sign of understanding that freelance workers have to find employer’s NI, holiday and sick pay, accountant’s fees and professional indemnity premia themselves.
And it would not have taken Allison long to check out a site like JobServe, which would show him that the rate offered is relatively low for someone with budget responsibility and project management skills and experience. Certainly in IT, that going rate – in the private sector – would be around £400 per day and upwards.
The local Government and NHS, on the other hand, pay less and therefore see the best project managers go elsewhere. Moreover, “going private” not only means more and bigger paydays, but avoids the carping from the TPA and their churnalist allies on the dunghill that is Grubstreet.
This seems not to occur to Allison, but then, the idea of his knocking copy is not to show understanding or perform any kind of research, but to put the boot in to public service. So he and his pals are unconcerned at their collective and increasingly obvious display of ignorance.
That ignorance extends to the tired TPA idea of seizing on job titles as being the only determinant of whether a job is useful, and Allison provides another example in the same piece, where he makes the discovery that the West Midlands Fire Service employs a “Political Analyst and Researcher”. He does not make the first attempt to find out what the job entails, nor even to ask how much of it is Research, and how much Political Analysis.
No, he merely fires off an FoI request, because that is an easy and lazy way out, and then trumpets his ignorance by asking “Why does the fire service need a Political Analyst?” (note that the “Researcher” part is conveniently dropped). As I’ve said before, if Allison and the rest of the TPA’s non-job holders really had any idea of how these organisations worked, they would not need to ask. They would know.That they still need to ask shows that they do not know. They are utterly ignorant of the workings of the organisations over which they stand in judgment. It is high time that the Fourth Estate recognises this fact, and tells the TPA it must do better.