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National Minimum Wage continued

On 8 Jun 2012 at 2:01pm young wrote:
I don't know exactly what I want to do when I graduate but it would spoil all the fun in life if you knew what was coming for you. However, by doing a degree in Mathematical Economics i'm providing myself with a large field with lots of jobs fortunately.
Yes, yes I do mean 'labour' as in work.
I couldn't remember if Germany had a very low minimum wage or none at all but thanks for reminding me. By having no minimum wage they are allowing people to get into the job market easily which allows people to get into work. The alternative would be to have to do volunteer work and i'm not sure if that means coming off of benefits or not. The flaw in the plan is the so called 'poverty trap' where people would rather stay on benefits but unfortunately i'm going to have to take a right wing view on this again and say disincentivise the opportunity to remain on benefits and get people into labour, saving a bit of government spending on the way.
I know the UK government is trying to do a lot at the moment to boost the manufacturing industry which has lost it's comparative advantage and it's international competitive edge over our foreign counterparts. One way of doing this is to introduce a lower minimum wage so that our goods can be cheaper on an international basis. I'm not saying compete with India or China but the government feels that the key to recovery is by gaining international competitiveness and by lowering the NMW we are sacrificing in the short run to make gains in the long run.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 2:54pm Mr Forks wrote:
So the road to recovery means financially exploiting the workers?! Capitalism is such a 'friendly' concept!
On 8 Jun 2012 at 3:30pm Southover Queen wrote:
"By having no minimum wage they are allowing people to get into the job market easily which allows people to get into work. "

Can you cite any statistics to back this up? Interestingly, there are sectors in Germany where there is a minimum wage, and I wonder if those sectors are at the traditionally unskilled end, where the risk of exploitative pay is highest?

"The alternative would be to have to do volunteer work and i'm not sure if that means coming off of benefits or not. "

Why is that the alternative? Why not just pay someone to work for you? Then they can learn as they go. That is how it's always worked in the past.

"The flaw in the plan is the so called 'poverty trap' where people would rather stay on benefits but unfortunately i'm going to have to take a right wing view on this again and say disincentivise the opportunity to remain on benefits"

How are you going to "disincentivise" staying on benefits? Suppose a man has worked as a builder for the last 15 years. He has a wife, children and a home which he has successfully supported. Now because of the recession there are no jobs for him. If you take away his JSA and his various other benefits his children will starve and they'll be made homeless and their education fatally disrupted. It's quite likely the marriage will fail as well. I'm not sure I see that helps much.

On top of that, if you don't have a minimum wage in place, that person could find himself offered work at way below the living wage (the NMW already is below the living wage in much of the country but let's leave that to one side for the moment) which is he is obliged to take under JSA rules. In a civilised society - one of the richest in the world - we should not be obliging the poorest to work for slave wages.

I'm sorry but I don't think there's any evidence that the absence of a minimum wage in a civilised society makes a country less competitive. What makes a country competitive is producing goods and services the rest of the world wants to buy and that depends on good education and training, good infrastructure and a flexible workforce. I think there are other things too, such as compassion and a willingness to help those worse off than yourself, but I'll just be accused of being a close commie again.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 3:32pm Southover Queen wrote:
(closet not close commie, obviously)
On 8 Jun 2012 at 4:05pm someone else wrote:
Germans manufacture BMWs, not plastic toys or Primark undies. The reason people buy BMWs isn't because the absence of a minimum wage enables the Germans to undercut the competition; it's because BMWs are quite good.
Besides, historically, there has been a long-standing and widely respected tradition of collective bargaining in Germany. The reason that they don't have a national minimum wage is simply that there has never needed to be one.
Of course, others would argue that the absence of a minimum wage also enables them to exploit Gastarbeiter, but that's another issue altogether.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 5:00pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
The biggest disincentive to coming off benefits is high rents and the high rate of clawback from housing benefit.
For someone on benefits or working on a low income, 65p of every extra £1 is lost in housing benefit. For someone whose rent is £1,000 a month (not unlikely for a privately rented family house in Lewes), that means they would lose a huge chunk of their wages/tax credits.
If everyone who can't afford to buy lived in social housing, where a comparable rent was £95 or so per week, this would not be anywhere near such an issue. If the clawback was lower, say 25-50% on a sliding scale, the incentive to work would be far greater.
Rent controls would also have the effect of reducing the disincentive and reducing the cost of benefits at a stroke.
I have no problem with paying taxes to help support those in need to have a reasonable standard of living and a roof over their heads, but I do object to paying off the mortgages of buy-to-let landlords and subsidising companies who want to pay low wages with my hard-earned pittance.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 5:30pm fuming wrote:
ACT - how do you feel about paying for people who are not that much in need ? as alot of people on benefits are 100% able to get off their backsides and get a job - even if it means less help with housing etc so be it surely if you are able you should do all you can to provide for yourself and your family- this country is full of people that would happily sit and let those around them do all the hard work. As someone who is in a low paid job i am not happy to pay for others i would rather the benefit system was harder and i was taxed less !
On 8 Jun 2012 at 6:01pm Sussex Jim wrote:
I fully support you, Fuming. Half the population works, and then pays taxes to fund the other half who do not work. It can't go on.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 7:04pm Marge spreader wrote:
Well fillers was advertising , when you ring the mobile number some chap tells you he pays in cash but you will be accounted for ( whatever that means ) so I never found out what the going rate was , needless to say I didn't fancy it , sounded a little bit iffy to me ,
On 8 Jun 2012 at 7:51pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
For 12 years, I have worked with people in need and in all that time, I have only encountered one person who I felt was on a level of benefits above that to which they they were entitled.
I have, however, had numerous cases where people have had to go to appeals tribunals to get what they ARE entitled to. So far, I have only had one case that failed at appeal, and 2 where the tribunal included criticism of adjudicating officers in their judgment, because the orginal decision was so flawed.
When I compare that to the number of people I know who pay minimal tax on high incomes, entirely legally, I feel that the system is stacked in favour of the wealthy.
People talk a lot about claimants who appear perfectly well and assume they are on the fiddle. Many illnesses and disabilities are not visible.
It's a bit irrelevant anyway, when there aren't enough jovbs for those who are fit, well and willing. The unwilling are leaving jobs vacant for those who want to work.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 8:22pm Tim wrote:
My neighbour has suddenly got a job after several years on benefits and no change in condition. I wonder why?
On 8 Jun 2012 at 8:51pm Boris wrote:
Flying high up in the sky, keep the red flag flying high up above the Lewes forum.
What is it about this forum that attracts The Guardian reading yoghurt knitters.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 9:10pm Harold wrote:
@ southover Queen. I totally agree ,I was not totally true with my statement , as your link says there are exceptions(scroll down page)and some not mentioned on that part of HMRC( will find link if needed)but a point to note to all is that just because you are being paid cash-in-hand does not stop you paying tax ect through self assessment.
You can still be legit.
I really don`t think a lot of ppl know what its like to need to earn from copper jobs or tips to survive.
In a perfect world you would all pay enough for things for an employer to pay fantastic wages to their staff so they can all buy a great house and live a high life style , but that cant happen because there has to be low paid ppl to make the welloff feel better than the poor scum in council houses on benifits ,There is no equallity and never will be, or can be.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 9:16pm Harold wrote:
Ps sorry about the bad spelling above, I get really angry about ppl who do not know what it is like to have one hot meal a day and that to be the free one from school.
Hope you stuck up sh!ts read this and understand how lucky you are.
Rant over
On 8 Jun 2012 at 10:17pm Poppycock wrote:
What about those of us that work (hard) and end up with less disposable income than the average "can't be arsed to work" leech in this country?
On 8 Jun 2012 at 10:30pm young wrote:
@southover queen
To your first point. Well, Germany have a lower unemployment rate than we do. I guess you could argue it's down to the fact (as 'someone else' pointed out) that the Germans do better in manufacturing because they have nicer stuff but you could argue they have more money to spend on these innovative products due to lower production costs. It's not that the German's just have better ideas than us and laugh at us for making Primark goods whilst they build nice cars. The Jaguar used to be a well respected English car until they became too expensive to make because of such things as higher wages adding to higher costs.
Well you could pay one worker who otherwise wouldn't have a job an average wage and get them to work fairly well or for the same price (if lower wages) you could get 2 people to do that job and probably a bit better. Yes, they get 'exploited' but these are tough times and it's a stepping stone.
I guess the argument for a lot of this is that it's unfair on people supporting a family etc etc if they're taken off of benefits and then don't have a fair wage to fall back on and I agree that there are many issues aroused by this and a part of me thinks well if they really are skilled enough then they could then get a well respected job and if they aren't then that's their own fault. But that's a very black & white approach and even in Lewes wouldn't go down well. In Harold's case I feel it's people like him that are the reason we still give welfare support and don't get me wrong, I am happy to support others but there are some people who really just don't give a sh!t and are born and bread to live off of benefits and when faced with the prospect of getting a job, realise that even if they chose to leave their luxury JSA, they can't get one because there aren't any. If we were to scrap the NMW I think that they would make changes to unemployment benefits however so they won't completely without support but slowly people would be getting themselves into work. Southover Queen you would probably want to back my idea up well I have still only recently left secondary school and have Facebook and a am 'facebook friends' with most of my old year group and it's horrible to see how from a young age, people who are barely adults and don't yet have to support a family and have a great opportunity to make something of themselves chose rather to get by off of the state benefits and it sickens me to think that the people that used to disrupt classes and didn't care are going to live off the taxes we pay because they've been brought up that way. This is a cultural thing and one way of changing this is to make the cuts and vast economic changes.
I'm ready for the hatred haha.........
On 8 Jun 2012 at 10:41pm Harold wrote:
@poppycock and SQ, I agree, I do not like the "I have a bad back brigade, I cant work either, give me money"
" If you work hard and need help, then It is you I work for, as I would like that help if I also needed it.
It bloody horrid to have to choose between the rent and food, Iv been there, Iv always had two jobs, I still work 70 to 80 hours a week to make sure my children never feel that horrid way of life.
On 8 Jun 2012 at 10:45pm red neck rita wrote:
YOUNG i have no idea if i agree or disagree with u as your posts are so long and ranty that i give up reading them ever heard or short and sweet or straight to the point if you truly have something worth saying try and do it in 1 paragraph- now thers a challenge
On 8 Jun 2012 at 10:52pm Realist wrote:
Good God. That last post above makes one want to buy a gun...
On 8 Jun 2012 at 10:59pm Young wrote:
Yeah sorry I'm tired and got carried away. Also kept changing what I had to say halfway through. Bit of light Friday night bedtime reading
On 9 Jun 2012 at 5:16pm bastian wrote:
I remember working when there was no minimum wage. Twenty years ago you could earn as little as £2.45 an hour, if that is how you all would like it to be again then how many hours is the average bloke supposed to work to keep his familly today. We are not just talking about youngsters, who in my oppinion are going to have a financially tough time how ever hard they work, but people in their 40s who have been made redundant now and may have to expect to work for some paultry sum in order not to be called a scrounger. The minimumwage was brought in for a reason, and in Germany the cost of living is nothing like as high as here. All the time we are bickering the rich get richer, and they don't give a jot what you earn as long as they get their dividends at the end of the year, infact, the less you are paid the bigger their dividend.
On 9 Jun 2012 at 6:22pm bastian wrote:
the reallity in this country is that the less you are paid to do a job the richer the bosses get. by At the end of the day you may find that you cannot afford the item that you are manufacturing. It is a massive problem that a company that was making a mint in the hay day of manufacturing can be brought to its knees by the greed of bosses bonuses and pandering to its share holders, that is actually why this country is in a state and it is the young who are paying the price.
Ultimately we have to live off what we earn..if we can't we need benefits, if they are not there then we are not living, just exhisting.
On 9 Jun 2012 at 8:25pm Pete wrote:
The trouble is some people these days don't know what hard work is. My dad worked from eight in the morning until six at night Monday to Friday, eight till one on Saturdays and on three evenings a week he had another job - this was just to keep our family of four fed and provide a roof over our head. He never complained because he had pride and believed it was his duty. This was in the sixties and seventies.
Young - I think you will go a long way.
On 9 Jun 2012 at 11:50pm Southover Queen wrote:
Young, in your first post in the previous thread, you said it had taken you over a year to get a job paying barely the minimum wage. So it seems a little harsh to point the finger at the rest of your year group and stigmatise them all as layabouts. Unemployment is at its highest in the 16-24 age group, with nearly 23% being unable to find work, so it really isn't surprising that many of your friends are struggling. You're clearly well motivated, but perhaps some of them are finding that hard to deal with, and what you interpret as laziness is actually people feeling defeated before they even have a chance to get started?

The saddest thing is that many of your contemporaries are the children of the group who were most severely affected last time round, in the 1980s, when a whole generation was blighted in the same way. Many of them never did settle into "careers" and that is going to affect their children's life-chances too. So I'd guess that would account for the attitudes you describe.

You're lucky: I'm sure you'll do well. But I really hope that over the next few years you'll see that things aren't quite as simple as everyone would like - if they were, don't you think we'd have got it sorted out by now?

On 10 Jun 2012 at 12:05am Cliffe Hanger wrote:
Bastian, you are all over the shop:
"At the end of the day you may find that you cannot afford the item that you are manufacturing".
What on earth do you mean by this? If you are manufacturing a car, then of course at the end of each day you cannot afford a car. If, on the other hand, you are manufacturing a nail, then presumably at the end of each day you can afford a nail.
"It is a massive problem that a company that was making a mint in the hay day of manufacturing can be brought to its knees by the greed of bosses bonuses and pandering to its share holders, that is actually why this country is in a state and it is the young who are paying the price."
When was the hay (sic) day of manufacturing, in your opinion? The share of manufacturing output in UK GDP has been declining for decades.
In my opinion this country is "in a state" as you put it because people borrowed way to much to buy over priced housing. They are now struggling to pay that money back, so have very little to spend on anything else.
More importantly, why the chuff are we spending so much time talking b*llocks about the economy on the Lewes Forum?

On 10 Jun 2012 at 10:09am bastian wrote:
we always talk b*ollocks on this forum and I was referring to cars and higher priced products like flash TVs.
I do work hard and put my time into community events as well as an extra. But I am always dismayed at the amount of cash creamed off by the top 1% who sit on their *rses letting our cash roll into their accounts ( usually because daddy owned something or other), they are the real scroungers.
It is the young who are paying the price.
Question Cliff Hanger: who made the house prices so high?
On 10 Jun 2012 at 1:20pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Good question, Bastian. I think 3 factors have been significant in house price inflation since, say, 1980.

Lack of council housing following the introduction of right-to-buy, coupled with the introduction of the assured shorthold tenancy meant that most people had no way of getting a secure home unless they bought. The consequent increase in demand pushed prices up.

As prices rose, people started to see their house as an investment vehicle rather than a home, and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy as that encouraged more people to buy houses, increasing demand still further.

The increase in the demand was aided and abetted by lending institutions who were desperate to give mortgages to anyone who could sign a form.

So, I guess my answer would be, respectively and not in order of importance, Thatcher and her cronies, greedy people and greedy banks.

On 10 Jun 2012 at 4:33pm Cliffe Hanger wrote:
People blame Thatcher for many things, but I think it is hard to pin the current level of house prices on her. Housing was pretty affordable in the mid-90s for example, five years after Mrs T left office.
For what it's worth Bastian, I pin the blame on a combination of the British psyche, doubtless fueled by the media who promote rising house prices as a "good thing", and the banks. People have borrowed far more than realistically they can hope to repay without working well into their 80s to buy houses, and the banks have lent them the money. Not really Thatcher's fault though.
On 10 Jun 2012 at 6:32pm Southover Queen wrote:
Whatever the cause - and while I think the sale of council houses in the 80s was a contributory factor - the obsession with owning your own home at any cost (literally) has had a depressing effect on the economy. Instead of being put to work in investing in business, for example, most of us have sunk every spare penny (and several not spare ones too) into mortgages. The cost of housing is very inflationary, but unfortunately so much of the population now has no other asset that it's difficult to see how you fix it. It also stifles mobility in the workforce - if you can't sell your house, how do you move for work?

I do agree with ACT earlier when she said that we need more affordable housing, probably state sponsored in some way. It would take a lot of pressure off the system, I think.
On 10 Jun 2012 at 9:12pm Ronnie wrote:
Southover Queen for PM. He has got all the answers.
On 10 Jun 2012 at 11:31pm grafter wrote:
There are some other factors in the demographics that might be more important than political influences. The large number of single people ( including divorced and separated) has greatly increased the total households. In our street there are mostly singles or couples without children in 2 and 3 bedroom houses whereas there are families in small flats nearby. When banks allow two salaries to be allowed for each mortgage this also escalates prices. There is no way back though is there,not without a real crash and collapse. Maybe we should build in the countryside after all......
On 11 Jun 2012 at 8:20pm bastian wrote:
grafter you are right about the need for singleton property but building in the country side is not the answer. The same people who buy up the town will just buy up the countryside to and rent it out to those who cannot afford to buy it.
On 11 Jun 2012 at 8:33pm Duke of Westminster wrote:
Too late
On 18 Jun 2012 at 11:12pm Sussex Jim wrote:
One thing I have noticed recently is that not only are simple menial jobs are paying minimum wage, but also higher jobs involving stock control and supervisory activities. This minumum wage may have raised the stakes for basic unskilled employees; but it has also dragged down the levels of payment for skilled and experienced personnel.
We must pay the right people the right rate for the job.

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English view 35:132
English view

Polly as most of the responses don't seem to provide a complete answer to your question I can provide my experiences of the Lewes... more
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Thomas Paine