MSE News: Below-inflation rise in minimum wage announced

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Employment, Jobseeking & Training
25 replies 3K views
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  • edited 7 April 2011 at 10:58PM
    Person_onePerson_one Forumite
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    edited 7 April 2011 at 10:58PM
    FATBALLZ wrote: »
    I believe people should live within their means, it's very insulting that you think anybody who doesn't live in a property on their own is living a 'sub-life'. There's house and flat shares or living with your family amongst a host of other options.

    People on NMW live a life of absolute luxury compared to some people in 3rd world countries who do far more essential jobs like growing crops, are you suggesting we move 3rd world farmers into individual 3 bed semis in notting hill too?


    I don't think its unreasonable for single adults to expect to live alone. House sharing or living with parents a bit longer than you'd prefer is fine as a temporary measure but there are some people who will stay on NMW or not much higher for their whole working life. Do you really believe they shouldn't hope for anything better than a "dingy room above a kebab shop"? Is a little one bed flat that much of a luxury or a rarity?

    Its a bit pointless bringing up third world living conditions, of course they should be better, but just because the whole world isn't perfect doesn't mean you should let things start to slide on your own doorstep.
  • FATBALLZ wrote: »
    I'm not sure where you read 'safe' as meaning rising by the rate of inflation every year. I expect he meant he wasn't going to scrap it. Quite frankly a single adult on minimum wage shouldn't expect to be able to afford to live in a home on their own, unless it's some dingy room above a kebab shop. I'm on well over average wage and would stuggle to afford a place to myself.

    People on NMW should consider themselves lucky to get any rise at all, I fully expected there to be no rise at all, in order to save jobs.

    When he said it, I did assume that he meant that he wasn't going to scrap it. However, I felt that the statement was deliberately vague enough to lure many into believing that he meant that it would rise roughly in line with inflation.
    I see nothing wrong with someone on NMW being able to afford (to rent) a basic one bed flat.

    Just doing some sums on this.
    NMW (assuming a 40 hour week) comes to £12,646.40.
    To rent a basic one bed flat around my way (largish town in southeast 30 miles from London) would be around £550 a month. For this it would probably be a bedsit but you might get lucky and have a separate bedroom if the property is generally lower standard. The council tax (assuming Band A) would be £744.12 a year with the single occupancy discount. There's no guarantee that it would be band A as some such properties around here may be band B.

    Anyway, the take home pay from the £12,646.40. Can't be bothered to work out exact figures but say £7k tax free allowance leaving meaning, very roughly, a tax bill of £1,100 and NI bill of maybe £300.

    So that's an approximate take home pay of £11,200 p.a. From that rent and council tax will take close to £7,400.
    So that's £3,800 a year (£73 a week) for everything else.

    If frugal, the gas/electric could be done for £40 a month (mine's £48 a month in a well insulated, mid floor, 2 bed flat and believe me, the jumpers go on in the winter).

    So say £500 a year for gas/electric as they've gone up recently.

    That's £3,300 a year left - before you've even so much as put a cornflake in your mouth. That's £63.46 a week - not a huge amount more than my (business) diesel bill.

    So yes, it could be done but you really would need to be vehicleless and live within walking (or cycling if you can afford one) distance of work. You might even be able to stretch to a mobile phone if you get the right deal.

    In cold financial terms, I'm probably not a lot better off than someone on NMW by the time minimum debt repayments are factored in (past mistakes currently being rectified). It does help that I have transport though. I only have it because it is my work van (I'm self-employed) and yes, I do declare a correct proportion of it for personal use.
    It's also a big help that I have access to credit in an emergency - which can be repaid by working harder over a short period (at a pace that could be unsustainable in the longer term).

    As for being a lone breadwinner with a family while on NMW, I think that's probably a non starter - though housing benefits/council tax/tax credits are no doubt of some help.

    Also, due to the pending changes in housing benefits, living in a big city is also a non starter IMO. I do wonder where these rich twits, in city (government?) offices, who make the rules for the rest of us, are going to find their cleaning staff. I would suggest that they sleep in tents in Parliament Square but they've banned that too.
  • FATBALLZFATBALLZ Forumite
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    Person_one wrote: »
    I don't think its unreasonable for single adults to expect to live alone. House sharing or living with parents a bit longer than you'd prefer is fine as a temporary measure but there are some people who will stay on NMW or not much higher for their whole working life. Do you really believe they shouldn't hope for anything better than a "dingy room above a kebab shop"? Is a little one bed flat that much of a luxury or a rarity?

    It is a luxury given we have a shortage of housing in this country, and living alone certainly in a historical context is quite an abnormal state of affairs. And yes, if I was on NMW and wanted a home to myself (assuming not a tent or caravan) then a dingy room above a kebab shop would really be the top of my expectations. In the same way that if I was to buy a ferrari, it would be 20 years old and have bits falling off, as that's all my earnings enable me to afford.

    But then again, unlike some I don't expect to be able to live above my means, and would look at alternatives, like flatsharing, in order to live somewhere nicer.
  • FATBALLZ wrote: »
    It is a luxury given we have a shortage of housing in this country, and living alone certainly in a historical context is quite an abnormal state of affairs. And yes, if I was on NMW and wanted a home to myself (assuming not a tent or caravan) then a dingy room above a kebab shop would really be the top of my expectations. In the same way that if I was to buy a ferrari, it would be 20 years old and have bits falling off, as that's all my earnings enable me to afford.

    But then again, unlike some I don't expect to be able to live above my means, and would look at alternatives, like flatsharing, in order to live somewhere nicer.

    Sure thing. Flat sharing would be the most practical way to get something a bit better. If it was the right person, it would be worthwhile as it would be quite a money saver. Gas, electric, council tax and water/sewage charges would be nowhere near double the cost of single occupancy. The rent certainly wouldn't be either. A three bedroom flat would work out even cheaper proportionately. With the reduction in outgoings though comes the queue for the toilet/bathroom and, now that you can afford TV, arguments over the remote control.
    Better than being homeless though.
  • edited 10 April 2011 at 7:03PM
    callum9999callum9999 Forumite
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    edited 10 April 2011 at 7:03PM
    Person_one wrote: »
    I don't think its unreasonable for single adults to expect to live alone. House sharing or living with parents a bit longer than you'd prefer is fine as a temporary measure but there are some people who will stay on NMW or not much higher for their whole working life. Do you really believe they shouldn't hope for anything better than a "dingy room above a kebab shop"? Is a little one bed flat that much of a luxury or a rarity?

    Its a bit pointless bringing up third world living conditions, of course they should be better, but just because the whole world isn't perfect doesn't mean you should let things start to slide on your own doorstep.

    I see what you mean but it always helps to get perspective. I grew up in a family with a hugely low income and I just accepted that and got on with it, while pretty much anyone else on a similar, and lots of people on higher, wages would moan about how difficult life is.

    I personally wish people in this country were less money-orientated and accepted how lucky they are to live in such a wealthy country.

    By increasing the minimum wage, it increases strain on companies who may be struggling to meet their existing wage bill. You need to make a compromise with it - if it goes too far then there will be lay-offs and what would you rather have, £6.10 an hour or be unemployed?

    I think it should be based on a sliding scale depending on the companies profit. E.g. the likes of Tesco should be forced to pay better wages than the corner shop down the road that is struggling to get by as it is (I know their wages are already reasonably generous, but I'd much rather see more of that money in the less well-off's pockets than sitting idoly in the company bank account).
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