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Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

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Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by sickchip on Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:40 pm

It seems companies don't pay a living wage so the state tops it up with various benefits - this in effect boosts companies profits (government doling out our tax to their profiteer friends?). So just who are the real benefit leeches.....I would suggest the employers using the state to top up the meagre wages they pay - not the employee who has no choice but to claim these benefits in order to survive.

Therefore the benefits system is there to make companies, and the rich, richer!
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by astradt1 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:19 pm

Some of those companies which pay only the minimum wage are also the same companies which have stuck deals with HMRC to limit their tax liablities on tax owed.....So not only Benefit leeches but also tax cheats.....

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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:13 pm

The authorities are quite happy to play The Numbers Game, for so long as it keeps people talking about that rather than social injustice per se.

A minimum wage setting must presumably take into account the effects of inflation. The current setting would have been wealth beyond the dreams of avarice for British workers between the two world wars:

The current rates (from 1 October 2011) are:
•£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
•£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
•£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
•£2.60 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by astra on Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:48 pm

It is to be noted that in this day and age, an "apprentice" will be doing a Journeyman's/Tradesman's craft in a matter of weeks. Another way of ensuring the cheapest of cheap wages payed!


Who is goin' to turn out of bed for that??

How can that person pay his parents digs, let alone pay for himself?
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by bobby on Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:34 pm

Apprentishis used to work because we enjoyed the benefits of an extended family. But with the break up of traditional close communities as I enjoyed as a kid, are all but gone, and with the diminishing income of ordinary people many simply can't afford to keep another adult in their homes for free. You just need to look back to see just who it was that broke up said communities. The communitis I speak of are Mining, steel works, car manufacturing and shipbuilding. These industries have been allowed to fall, and who will have he readies to revive them. Those with money still will only uy something if its on the cheap, just look at Branson and Northern Rock. He is typical of all the ultra wealthy leeches.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:35 pm

".... many simply can't afford to keep another adult in their homes for free."

But the Toffs are organised to get their children into Uncle Julian's firm of Accountants, or Solicitors or a Hedge Fund. Some may even become Parliamentary "Researchers" and move into the better-paid adjuncts of government without undue delay.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by keenobserver1 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:06 pm

sickchip wrote:It seems companies don't pay a living wage so the state tops it up with various benefits - this in effect boosts companies profits (government doling out our tax to their profiteer friends?). So just who are the real benefit leeches.....I would suggest the employers using the state to top up the meagre wages they pay - not the employee who has no choice but to claim these benefits in order to survive.

Therefore the benefits system is there to make companies, and the rich, richer!


Do we know when these "top up benefits" were introduced?
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:10 pm

Gordon Brown could answer that question.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by keenobserver1 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:27 pm

oftenwrong wrote:Gordon Brown could answer that question.

Is he registered on this forum?
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by astradt1 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:16 pm

•£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
•£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
•£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18

All those on these minimum wages work for 40 hours a week they will be liable for paying some income tax with the basic personal allowance being £7,475.

So they will infact be subsidising their own wages...............
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:33 pm

So they will infact be subsidising their own wages................

Hence "Tax Credits", which is where we came in.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by sickchip on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:02 am

astradt1 wrote:
•£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
•£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
•£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18

All those on these minimum wages work for 40 hours a week they will be liable for paying some income tax with the basic personal allowance being £7,475.

So they will infact be subsidising their own wages...............


.....'cept many will need to claim more in tax credits, housing benefits, etc than they pay in tax!!!! What a costly and not very clever system/bureacracy!!!

Still, I suppose it keeps the plebs confused and befuddled.........just the way they like you!
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:28 am

Therefore the benefits system is there to make companies, and the rich, richer!, i Cannot agree more with this.

And these minimum wage rates are shameful and quite heartless when bankers can spend anything up to £1,500 on one bottle of wine. The minimum wage was a great idea but has not kept pace with the economy.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by sickchip on Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:12 am

The minimum wage is now used to abuse employees. Employers pay it across a range of jobs it was never intended for....jobs that deserve greater reward. But hey! Maybe that was the plan all along, as we were entering a new age where our masters realised they had to compete and try to turn a profit in a global economy.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:32 am

sickchip wrote:The minimum wage is now used to abuse employees. Employers pay it across a range of jobs it was never intended for....jobs that deserve greater reward. But hey! Maybe that was the plan all along, as we were entering a new age where our masters realised they had to compete and try to turn a profit in a global economy.

A very true statement in my mind sickchip.....The minimum wage is now used to abuse employees. Employers pay it across a range of jobs it was never intended for....jobs that deserve greater reward.. I seen far too many job adds for the minimum wage when it quite clear they are just using this to hide behind. Care worker in BUPA care homes come to mind. I see there job add each week in our local newspaper.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by sickchip on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:06 am

Stox

The trouble is we need a minimum wage; but a review should be conducted into how fairly it is applied/used by some employers; and regulatory bodies ought to be set up to make sure employees are paid a fair wage for the duties/responsibilities their job entails (categorise various employment types); and of course the focus, long term, should be on a gradual increase of the minimum wage until it becomes a reasonable living wage (if full time) without excessive resort to benefits.


Last edited by sickchip on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by sickchip on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:07 am

Whatever happened to unions? Ah yes! Thatcher!
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:24 am

sickchip wrote:Whatever happened to unions? Ah yes! Thatcher!

I cannot agree more with you sickchip. Ah yes what did happen to the Unions? very good question indeed. as for that, Hell some moron has made a film about her. Evil or Very Mad I was hopping I would not ever hear of her again in my life.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:44 am

We always knew that the bloody woman was barking mad, and apparently the movie confirms that.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:26 am

oftenwrong wrote:We always knew that the bloody woman was barking mad, and apparently the movie confirms that.

I could not agree more with that. just amazing to me that anyone would make a film about her in my mind
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by witchfinder on Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:05 pm

How can it be ?

In the town where I was born ( not a Beatles lyric ) the cheapest one bedroom flat available on the market is priced at £72,000 and its an attic flat.

The minimum wage is just over £6.00 per hour, meaning that a person on 40 hours would earn £240.00 per week ( less contributions about £200 ).

The average rent for a one bedroom flat in the same area is around £400 per month, meaning that an average person on minimum wage would spend half their wage on rent leaving around £100.00 left per week, to pay electricity, gas, water, council tax and if there is anything left, something to eat, and if they are realy realy lucky, they could even afford to go and buy a pint in the pub.

There is no wonder that so many people rely on benefits, they realy dont have a choice if they want to survive or exist.


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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:49 am

witchfinder wrote:How can it be ?

In the town where I was born ( not a Beatles lyric ) the cheapest one bedroom flat available on the market is priced at £72,000 and its an attic flat.

The minimum wage is just over £6.00 per hour, meaning that a person on 40 hours would earn £240.00 per week ( less contributions about £200 ).

The average rent for a one bedroom flat in the same area is around £400 per month, meaning that an average person on minimum wage would spend half their wage on rent leaving around £100.00 left per week, to pay electricity, gas, water, council tax and if there is anything left, something to eat, and if they are realy realy lucky, they could even afford to go and buy a pint in the pub.

There is no wonder that so many people rely on benefits, they realy dont have a choice if they want to survive or exist.



Witchy you sum this up very well indeed. I was reading that the cheapest rents here in Suffolk are something like £550 per month. How on earth can anyone work and live on a minimum wage of £200 and still pay rent like that? what about if they need a car to get into work? it must be looked at at some point
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:47 pm

Some people are viewing this upside-down. Housing rents are going up because mortgage-lenders are turning away 90% of the business they would have grasped three years ago.

People with "a bit to invest" are becoming landlords because there is no better return at the moment. Who thinks that will last?
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:48 am

oftenwrong wrote:Some people are viewing this upside-down. Housing rents are going up because mortgage-lenders are turning away 90% of the business they would have grasped three years ago.

People with "a bit to invest" are becoming landlords because there is no better return at the moment. Who thinks that will last?

Not me for one
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by tlttf on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:20 am

I for one feel it will last OW, when there are no new houses being built, those that own a spare one can rent it out effortlessly.

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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:13 am

So it's a bit rich to blame private landlords for filling the gap left by Government and the Construction Industry.

It's called "market forces" and is the Holy Grail of capitalism.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:54 am

oftenwrong wrote:So it's a bit rich to blame private landlords for filling the gap left by Government and the Construction Industry.

It's called "market forces" and is the Holy Grail of capitalism.

Yes I agree. but how sad is it. when young people are having to live back at home because of an economic failure of capitalism.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:39 am

The biggest fear of Capitalists is that their target consumers will unite in saying, "I'm not paying THAT!"

The price of a thing can only be precisely determined by the customer's willingness, and ability, to pay.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:51 am

oftenwrong wrote:The biggest fear of Capitalists is that their target consumers will unite in saying, "I'm not paying THAT!"

The price of a thing can only be precisely determined by the customer's willingness, and ability, to pay.

quite so oftenwrong. but the deep trouble for the Capitalists is they wish not to pay there workforce to much but then on the other hand wish them to spend it on the things they sell. a catch 22 for them is it not?
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by sickchip on Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:55 am

sickchip wrote:It seems companies don't pay a living wage so the state tops it up with various benefits - this in effect boosts companies profits (government doling out our tax to their profiteer friends?). So just who are the real benefit leeches.....I would suggest the employers using the state to top up the meagre wages they pay - not the employee who has no choice but to claim these benefits in order to survive.

Therefore the benefits system is there to make companies, and the rich, richer!

I know I've been banging this drum for some time; but at last people are catching up re: Zoe Williams article in the Guardian (comment online) cheers
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:58 am

The big question must be whether Companies are paying their fair share of the tax burden. Many people think they use smart Lawyers and Accountants to dodge responsibilities that the individual cannot.
There are legitimate deductions for the expense of running the business, but how can Blair have a tax bill of only £350,000 on a business that took £8Million?

Perhaps Corporation tax should be payable on Turnover, not on A figure representing "Profit" after the Accountants woofle-dust has been applied.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by witchfinder on Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:23 am

We need to be careful here, think hard about making sweeping statements regarding the minimum wage.

Some companies exploit workers for extra profit and greed, some companies have more of a moral backbone, some companies can afford to pay their staff a better wage, others cannot.

Take for example the case of Mr Richard Kirk, the managing director of Peacocks clothing retailer which has now gone into administration, it seems that Mr Kirk tryed to do everything he could to restructure loans, but sadly to no avail.

It appears that Mr Kirk is genuinely highly thought of and admired by staff that know him and have met him, as he stood up and apologized to his employees yesterday, they applauded him, and so there are decent people who are employers.

We need a situation where struggling companies, small businesses starting out and companies facing economic hardships are not pushed over the edge, on the other hand we want to put a halt to exploitation of workers by fat cats and greedy shareholders.

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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:38 am

It can all be made to sound so simple.

The problems of Companies like Southern Cross or Peacocks usually stem from the ministrations of a Hedge Fund. (They like to be thought of as "turn-round specialists"). A group of get-rich-quick financiers will scour the market for a useful firm in temporary difficulties, and will buy a controlling shareholding - usually with borrowed money (leverage).

If the existing management and workers are nervous about their future, they may negotiate a "Management buy-out" whereupon the "turn-round specialists" withdraw at a substantial profit. The company now has to make enough money to pay the staff AND service expensive loans.

That's the situation with Peacocks, which is profitable if you subtract the loan repayments. Mr Kirk may be hoping to purchase the Company name from the Administrators (google "pre-pack") and start again.

Applause for that may not be coming from the direction of the Suppliers and Lenders who won't be paid.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:57 am

witchfinder wrote:We need to be careful here, think hard about making sweeping statements regarding the minimum wage.

Some companies exploit workers for extra profit and greed, some companies have more of a moral backbone, some companies can afford to pay their staff a better wage, others cannot.

Take for example the case of Mr Richard Kirk, the managing director of Peacocks clothing retailer which has now gone into administration, it seems that Mr Kirk tryed to do everything he could to restructure loans, but sadly to no avail.

It appears that Mr Kirk is genuinely highly thought of and admired by staff that know him and have met him, as he stood up and apologized to his employees yesterday, they applauded him, and so there are decent people who are employers.

We need a situation where struggling companies, small businesses starting out and companies facing economic hardships are not pushed over the edge, on the other hand we want to put a halt to exploitation of workers by fat cats and greedy shareholders.


you have made so very good points about good and bad business. but what is worrying me is the cost this governments failed economic policy is having businesses.

O.B.R data of Businesses failing in 2011

20.3% increase in businesses failing in Quarter 3 2011 compared to the same period in 2010
7.8% increase in failures for Quarter 3 2011 compared to Quarter 2 2011
East Midlands is the only region to see a drop in the number of businesses failing Year on Year
With Wales seeing the biggest Year on Year increase in companies failing
The Principality also sees the biggest rise in failures Quarter on Quarter
Retail is the sector hardest hit Year on Year with a 41.8% increase
Numbers of businesses failing in the Transport & Communications sector drops both Year on Year and Quarter on Quarter
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:57 am

On top of all that is the sovereign debt of entire Nations. When Greece wangled its way into the Euro, clever US Accountancy firms "securitised" the Greek tax revenue by counting-in the expected receipts five years ahead. (Among other examples of creative accountancy).
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:16 am

oftenwrong wrote:On top of all that is the sovereign debt of entire Nations. When Greece wangled its way into the Euro, clever US Accountancy firms "securitised" the Greek tax revenue by counting-in the expected receipts five years ahead. (Among other examples of creative accountancy).

o yes how very true. but this creative accountancy lays at the real root of the world banking crisis with banks moving money from account too account. that is why banks no longer trust each others accounts today. what does that say about the accountancy companies who job it was to check all of this?
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:10 am

what does that say about the accountancy companies


They run with the hare, and hunt with the hounds. Like the Credit Rating Agencies, or a Tory administration.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Stox 16 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:14 am

oftenwrong wrote:what does that say about the accountancy companies


They run with the hare, and hunt with the hounds. Like the Credit Rating Agencies, or a Tory administration.

True once more, it put all three of them in a very bad light in my view. I have yet to full understand Credit Rating Agencies at all. and that is someone who working within economics too. as for accountancy companies. well they do need looking into in my view in light of there role in the world banking crisis. as for the Tory party. well they have become a party that is living in the past in my view.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by Mel on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:11 pm

sickchip wrote:It seems companies don't pay a living wage so the state tops it up with various benefits - this in effect boosts companies profits (government doling out our tax to their profiteer friends?). So just who are the real benefit leeches.....I would suggest the employers using the state to top up the meagre wages they pay - not the employee who has no choice but to claim these benefits in order to survive.

Therefore the benefits system is there to make companies, and the rich, richer!

So true sickchip
One must also take into consideration the shareholders who are also on the same bandwagon as the employers.
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Re: Is the minimum wage a living wage? If not, why not?

Post by astra on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:37 pm

Hello Mel,

Are the Shareholders not one or two steps ABOVE the directors and CEO's of Companies?
The FIRST responsibility of any CEO or Company Director is to his SHAREHOLDERS!

The Government subsidies into public transport in this country - Air - fuel subsidies, Bus companies - Fuel subsidies again, and the Railway - well, the whole phookin' shooting match is subsidised, and the gubmint handouts go £ for £ to the Shareholder's offshore accounts.

Please do not cry for the directors etc of National Rail giving up their bonuses, they know full well that the cost of reparations after the two girls were killed and the court case, is going to need a wadge to sort. Many "Permissive Pedestrian Crossings" will have to be replaced by a bridge over the track! Pity (for the tax payer) that a former Tory Regime removed those in an earlier reincarnation!
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