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  • TurnUpForTheBooks
    • #2
    • 20th May 14, 7:23 AM
    • #2
    • 20th May 14, 7:23 AM
    Hi all

    Just to let you know I've made the poll discussion live so feel free to head over there to discuss the issue.

    Originally posted by MSE Wendy
    Ah thanks Wendy!

    As I was saying in another place then ...

    The UK minimum wage, increasingly poor working conditions, deliberate government ploy to make it harder to bring cases against employers plus the widespread use of zero hours contracts have all created a stupid dumbed down fearful disrespected labour market in the UK which means we are now like third world savages compared to some other so called western countries.

    So called strivers are expected to eat dirt and get up and ask for more whilst success is measured according to the cloth of City fraudsters running banks and insurance companies or legal firms (they're all in it together of course - but we're not).

    Our unions are not worth a light any more - the last union leader worth a light was lost a few months ago. He was a bit too "darn to bleedin' urf" for most, but his heart was in the right place.

    There are better developed Northern European countries than ours where they still attract Eastern European labour and economic immigrants (probably including me shortly). They still have respected trades unions. Everyone respects you no matter what your job, even if you empty bins to make ends meet. That is a clear difference to the UK where most citizens look down on bin men and other low paid workers.

    Another clear difference is that the lowest paid workers elsewhere are rarely seen holding their head high, usually seen in their own worn out day clothes that are spoiled at work - painters in jeans covered in paint sitting on the tube in the rush hour. In Northern Europe high quality protective uniforms for the working man are often de rigueur, and arrangements are automatic to ensure they are laundered and maintain a business-like image. In the UK we us a different and very much brader catch-all phrase "workman-like" and it does not mean business-like, does it?

    All commercial vehicles in some countries have conspicuous official marks identifying the owner by number so very few anonymous white vans - very few anonymous throwaway workers, very little evidence of could care less quality workmanship.

    And amazingly you may find that these working citizens who often receive a good living wage without there being a national minimum, are proud to pay quite high levels of tax. Because their government and systems work better than ours and citizens value what their taxes pay for.

    If I told you that a typical undergraduate working as a part-time shelf stacker in the Northern European equivalent of Tesco was paid twice what Tesco might pay the same kind of student in the UK, would you laugh or cry?

    If I told you that typical North Europeans live in dwellings 50% greater in floor area than UK workers accept as the norm, but typical pay average housing costs no greater than ours would you laugh or cry?

    We have it wrong in the UK - after Thatcher destroyed the unions and then led us towards Big Bang in financial services, the die was cast. It has gone terribly wrong now. If you are a worker in a big supermarket or fast food chain you deserve to be respected at least a twelfth as much as a top CEO for what you do ! That is typically the way wealth is distributed much more fairly in some countries - the CEO will earn maybe 12x what you do or 20x at a push - not the stupid multiples and lottery numbers we see in UK and USA.

    And when you are not working and enjoying leisure time, then you might find you are rubbing shoulders with all up to CEO types, and it is the most natural thing.

    In many parts of the world McDonalds workers are protesting at pay levels and working conditions. It doesn't have to be that way. For years there has been frequent reference to a semi-official BigMac chart of the cost of living around the world. The price of a BigMac gives you an indication of the cost of living in that country.

    That is a fallacy. In my experience the price of a BigMac is more a direct indication of the general quality of living in a country not the relative cost of it, even in big experimental economies like China's. At least there experiments are based on making stuff. Maybe one of the biggest experimental economies is ours - it's so much hot air!

    In some Northern European countries you won't find McDonalds workers complaining too much in 2014. Because they are paid well enough, and can afford to live solid lives without fear of job-loss or poverty, are respected by their employers and neighbours alike, and basically are happy right now. They are not molli-coddled by strict employment legislation that makes them hard to fire as in France. They are simply a confident workforce in a buoyant market who if made jobless can find and do tend to find another job quite fast and if not will receive substantial and respectful state welfare help until they do get another job. They will not all be forced to accept zero hours contracts at six or seven quid an hour making sandwiches if they've signed on for 3 months running.

    We could achieve so much more if we travelled a bit and came back and did something with what we learned about how progressive societies work.

    I have described what some will laugh at and call some imagined Utopia, and I would be the first to admit that it may not last, but in the UK we can do so much better if we root out the worst excesses of the corporates and start respecting labour again of every type.

    PS I voted for the £11 or so rate per hour to get us all on the right track
    Last edited by TurnUpForTheBooks; 20-05-2014 at 7:30 AM.
    From the late great Tommy Cooper: "He said 'I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library.' I thought 'That's a turn-up for the books.' "
    • ACG
    • By ACG 20th May 14, 8:07 AM
    • 19,539 Posts
    • 11,105 Thanks
    • #3
    • 20th May 14, 8:07 AM
    • #3
    • 20th May 14, 8:07 AM
    As if 20% of people have said they want to see a wage of £14 an hour!

    Imagine all the thickos, lazy gits, numpties you have worked with over your career. Now imagine them earning £25k a year!!!

    All that you would see is unemployed sky rocket.

    I have recently become an employer and if i had to pay someone £14 an hour...I would not be an employer.

    Even as a fully trained and qualified mortgage advisor, I was earning less than that working for a bank 2 years ago.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • Li0nhead
    • By Li0nhead 20th May 14, 8:27 AM
    • 14,822 Posts
    • 32,858 Thanks
    • #4
    • 20th May 14, 8:27 AM
    • #4
    • 20th May 14, 8:27 AM
    You could make min wage 63.10 (10 times current rate) you know all that would happen?
    We would pay ten times more for everything as everyone who has touched a product you are buying is being paid ten times more. You would be no more richer.
    Remember pre euro spain where you paid for things in 1000 and 2000 notes? Thats all that would happen here is inflation would kick in so we would pay for everything with an added 0.

    What is more important is what you earn in comparison to your costs of living.
    Hi there! Weíve had to remove your signature. It was so good we removed it because we cannot think of one so good as you had and need to protect others from seeing such a great signature.
    • tomtontom
    • By tomtontom 20th May 14, 8:31 AM
    • 7,184 Posts
    • 16,347 Thanks
    • #5
    • 20th May 14, 8:31 AM
    • #5
    • 20th May 14, 8:31 AM
    For those voting for £14+ an hour, I would be interested if you understand the repercussions of such a move, both in terms of the impact on businesses and on consumers. It would be interesting to see justification for such a rise, apart from 'I want more ...'.
    • gingeralan
    • By gingeralan 20th May 14, 8:32 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 181 Thanks
    • #6
    • 20th May 14, 8:32 AM
    • #6
    • 20th May 14, 8:32 AM
    I make no bones about it. I think the minimum wage is not a good thing, I turned 16 just as we started implementing the minimum wage, I as a 16 year old was earning more than the minimum wage for a 21 year old. But that same organisation reduced pay rises over the ensuing 5 or 7 years till miraculously their wages were the same as the minimum wage.

    I hasten to add that this was a shelf stacking job in a major supermarket, basically the minimum wage has meant my ex colleagues have suffered a significant reduction in quality of life, this occurred to many of my friends also working for other large supermarkets. Going from being able to buy a house and car to being on the poverty line within the space of 15 years.

    If you increase the minimum wage all you do is increase the amount it takes to exist in poverty. If there is no minimum wage the market will find levels. There will always be employers who take the Mickey, as we have now with zero hour contracts, or expecting people to clear up at the end of the day on their own time. As individuals we need to stand up for our rights, if you work somewhere that treats you badly do something, strike, change jobs, start up on your own, the opportunities are endless.

    The big problem is the apathy in this country everyone just lets things happen and then complains when it's rubbish.
  • Philcovers
    • #7
    • 20th May 14, 9:02 AM
    Not to that high but to me a better plan
    • #7
    • 20th May 14, 9:02 AM
    Would be for a Citizen's income policy based on a basic living wage paid to all adults, which cannot be taken away when one works, but would be subject to income tax once certain amounts are reached. THEN the minimum wage of around £7 or £8 per hour.
    This would eliminate benefits frauds and having to claim benefits, and the very expensive and time consuming ways of dealing with it. Poverty would be reduced to a bare minimum, and I feel sure all people would be happier. Yes even the RICH (In the end).
    • torbrex
    • By torbrex 20th May 14, 10:14 AM
    • 61,883 Posts
    • 124,626 Thanks
    • #8
    • 20th May 14, 10:14 AM
    • #8
    • 20th May 14, 10:14 AM
    Other wages would need to rise in direct proportion to the rise in the minimum wage to keep parity for the people with more responsible jobs.
    Managers would also need to have their wages rise otherwise why would they even bother to do their jobs and so on....

    After all the wage increases the money would then need to be found to pay for them and guess where that would come from.

    If there must be a minimum wage then let it stay at the level it is at, if people think they are worth more than that then they should prove it by getting a better paid job.

    I earn just over minimum wage, its a job that suits me, no resposibility other than to see that I do my job properly and hours to suit me rather than a strict 9-5.
    • satchef1
    • By satchef1 20th May 14, 10:55 AM
    • 113 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    • #9
    • 20th May 14, 10:55 AM
    • #9
    • 20th May 14, 10:55 AM
    I think minimum wage is fine where it is. Giving businesses an incentive to pay the 'Living Wage' where they can afford it is a better idea than simply forcing all businesses (whether they can afford it or not) to pay more.

    On the Swiss front, bare in mind how high living costs are over there. It's an expensive country. To simply make the conversion in to pounds and say that the Swiss were proposing a £14.66/hr minimum wage isn't really telling the full story. From the cost of living index, Switzerland is the second most expensive country in Europe. Factor in the difference in living costs and the proposed minimum wage was more equivalent to £10/hr. Still very high, likely why it was voted down.
  • Viberduo
    the £8.80 a hour figure is fine for the most part as I got around that 10 years ago and I know prices have increased but I was able to treat myself then to luxuries though my rent was next to nothing.

    Its more we need to tackle issues like landlords ripping off tenants i.e having high rents for low quality housing and not doing standard repairs as I have lived in or near areas with high unemployment that charge like £95 a week rent and LHA is only £65 for a under 35 and £80 for over £35 then as its a poor are no work is available and you are limited in what shops you can use.

    And I can honestly in every job I have had that you get a lot of lazy employees and even lazy supervisors who get paid by performance so harass their workers to work harder just for their own benefit so we are never going to win.

    To give everyone a high minimum wage means the lazy get more for nothing and the hard working are still working above what they should be doing.
    • minislim
    • By minislim 20th May 14, 3:27 PM
    • 341 Posts
    • 207 Thanks
    whatever the minimum wage is there would be ways of abusing the system.

    currently i know of two ways the system is fiddled.

    one is foreign workers who earn the bare minimum wage. but work for an agency. the agency then puts additional "costs" for admin and in some cases board and lodgings (cramped bedsits).
    the worker then gets less than minimum wage in the pocket.
    this current practice has in a lot of areas driven down the labour market wage levels to effectively baseline.
    its something which is currently a hot topic with the elections looming on thursday.

    the other is in the service industry where workers wages are technically less than minimum wage, but then get "topped up" by the tips the workers earn to level it at basic minimum wage.

    both practices are rife, totally legal, morally wrong and prime examples of how a minimum wage can still be fiddled.
    it wouldn't matter. all that would happen is the cost of things going up even higher.
  • TurnUpForTheBooks
    Little Englanders need to get out more?
    To the employer who says he wouldn't be one if the minimum wage was £14 per hour: Good.
    From the late great Tommy Cooper: "He said 'I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library.' I thought 'That's a turn-up for the books.' "
    • dastep
    • By dastep 21st May 14, 8:36 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    If you want to see the true effect of fixed wages and how they can and will destroy an economy, take a look at the US car industry, the City of Detroit, Michigan, and read the history of how the United Auto Workers held the car manufacturers to ransom forcing extortionate wage rates while the city crumbled, factories closed and jobs were lost.

    There is a feeling that scrapping the minimum wage would lead to greater levels of employee poverty, but I disagree.

    Scrap the minimum wage and allow businesses to hire workers at their own set levels of pay. This will attract more factories and more businesses to the UK which will only drive wages upward until the market will set the levels naturally without government intervention.
  • TurnUpForTheBooks
    We don't have trades unions that behave like mafioso. We don't have any effective trades union movement at all now. You can't expect withdrawal of a minimum wage to cause a correct level to be reached while we have the total imbalance between the relative powers of corporate interests and labour interests.

    Correct and balanced levels of national living wage arise out of respect for labour, not exploitation of it.

    Accountants tendering for large contracts always look at slashing labour costs before looking at anything else. That means downtreading existing labour and also (usually) removing some of it.

    We are never going to learn how to make good stuff in the UK. We just say we are good at making stuff but we rarely make ground breaking products. We just invent stuff and move on - other cultures turn our ideas into products.

    So huge numbers of UK jobs are just end up as what are euphemistically called "the service sector" and if you downtread labour or remove it from a service, then we all suffer except those who were ruthless enough to do the dirty deed in the name of success or progress. The culprits (yes they are culpable) just siphon off great streams of the cashflows they won with their "labour-saving" tenders and eventually when they get tired of doing it again and again, they disappear with the ill-gotten gains to under their favorite palm-trees.

    Meantime we are all the poorer for it both economically and morally.

    (If you ask me )
    Last edited by TurnUpForTheBooks; 21-05-2014 at 9:22 AM.
    From the late great Tommy Cooper: "He said 'I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library.' I thought 'That's a turn-up for the books.' "
    • HappyMJ
    • By HappyMJ 22nd May 14, 5:40 AM
    • 20,595 Posts
    • 17,201 Thanks
    The MW should at least be enough to afford to pay the bills without the need to claim benefits. No more benefits being paid out to full time workers will save the taxpayer a lot more money. So I vote for £7.65 outside of London and £8.80 within London. Prices will inevitably increase on anything where MW labour is used and the MW will soon need to rise again to cover the increased cost of living. I would like to see the MW at around £12.00 within the next 5 years.

    Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money.
    • BobbinAlong
    • By BobbinAlong 22nd May 14, 5:42 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 163 Thanks
    If there has to be minimum wage then it should reflect the cost of living in the majority of that country. Not the same as Switzerland or even Sweden where a young casual worker can get £14 an hour but the cost of living is so much higher.
    Because there is a minimum wage, employers don't need to pay more so more are stuck on it.
    Employers of foreign labour are the people who take advantage most. Why do all the local pub and theme park jobs go to foreigners when traditionally they went to the resident young adults?
    Why do we have to have foreigners picking our crops in Lincolnshire when less than half an hour away are Hull and Grimsby with very high unemployment? Why don't the government schemes or the Princes Trust do something to get resident jobless out doing those jobs?
    • Enterprise 1701C
    • By Enterprise 1701C 22nd May 14, 7:32 AM
    • 21,872 Posts
    • 221,335 Thanks
    Enterprise 1701C
    Whilst I agree we need a (properly enforced) minimum wage, it does not need to be set high. If you are on minimum wage and it more than covered what you needed, what incentive would you have to progress in your career?
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
  • TurnUpForTheBooks
    Whilst I agree we need a (properly enforced) minimum wage, it does not need to be set high. If you are on minimum wage and it more than covered what you needed, what incentive would you have to progress in your career?
    Originally posted by Enterprise 1701C
    That's an interesting take on it, Enterprise - strive to be the best that you can be and get rewarded ? But this is where it all goes wrong. Your measure "progress in your career" - that creates a circular or spiral argument for most people - "I need more money therefore I need to get more money therefore I need to get promoted and now I am promoted I have to tell myself why I am in this lofty stressful position where I need even more money to fool myself into thinking that I have got all the things and friends I need and I look like I am happy and my Facebook and Linked-in page looks interesting"

    No, that won't do. We are a highly developed society. Money enough not to worry about basic living costs is the platform we should all be given to start from now. We certainly don't need the stick of fear of poverty to make us work for the carrot of more money. We need to feel we are getting employer and societal respect for whatever we choose to do or stay doing in our jobs. Then we develop the confidence that gives us in knowing that actually we are living just as useful lives as the City high fliers, and we are empowered to be the best that we can be measured in oh so many different ways which are nothing to do with our "career". I have had several careers, high paid, low paid - mentally demanding, physically demanding, satisfying, boring, respected and disrespected. None of them are the key to my own happiness and usefulness to society. Sure, that's easily said when you are middle-aged and find yourself with the time to say it, but let s not congratulate ourselves too much on how we got there when young people are struggling so much to make plans for a future. Most of us were given a leg up by the societies created by previous generations. Those of us who might be economic migrants or whose parents or ancestors were might like to tell a story of "striving" and "achieving" too. But they all got their leg up in a way too. They exploited an opportunity to get a leg up, same as many from poorer parts of EU right now. We don't blame any of them for it. Let's just not get tangled up in thinking that exploiting opportunity for a leg up is the name of the game for all of us. That doesn't create a nice culture.

    We need to live and young people especially do. Those that fool themselves that their measure of success is how much money they bring home need to be actively shown that they need to pay more tax and they also need to be made to pay a lot more for the anonymous labour they burn up unthinkingly as they scramble to the top of their career heaps. I am talking about a significant adjustment to the distribution of wealth in our country to make the extremes less likely. And remember that wealth isn't just pounds or dollars or euros or Swiss Francs, but an adjustment to who gets those at the bottom and who gets to keep less at the top would be a good start!
    Last edited by TurnUpForTheBooks; 22-05-2014 at 11:44 AM.
    From the late great Tommy Cooper: "He said 'I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library.' I thought 'That's a turn-up for the books.' "
    • Fitzmichael
    • By Fitzmichael 22nd May 14, 10:18 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    What's it worth?
    I cannot see why a legal min wage should be less than the living wage, but referring to Switzerland, the q is not so clear.
    We were staying with relatives in Geneva last month and were surprised at the hostility to the idea; young people were worried that their 'first job' opportunities would disappear. I don't understand why: if a job has to be done in Switzerland, then someone has to be employed to do it. If it could be done elsewhere, why would any employer pay Swiss rates, rather than go to China, where other countries' jobs have disappeared to? (Martin will be laughing at my economic ignorance, but perhaps when he stops, he can educate us.)
    Prices there are eye-watering but so are salaries. They have 60,000 non-Swiss, many from over the border a 10 min bus-ride away, so short are they of workers.
    Geneva has Europe's (the world's?) best flea market so, if I give an example of prices there, you'll understand what the situation is in 'proper' shops. They had large quantities of interesting old stuff. My wife was looking through a box of old bits of everyday cutlery and saw a small spoon with an unusually long handle, which she thought would be useful, so she asked how much. "8 francs", over £5. She thought she had misheard and asked again. "8 francs", and there was no bargaining. A short time after returning home here, she bought a new one of similar quality for £1.
    Switzerland is in the EEA, so I couldn't understand why people didn't go hop in the car and do their shopping in France, where it's cheaper, though not so much as here, but unlike us bringing back as much as we like, apart from alcohol and tobacco, the Swiss have to pay tax on their imports above a small allowance.
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 23rd May 14, 9:49 PM
    • 779 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    No one on minimum wage - as it currently is - can afford to live on it. Rent is extortinately high, mortgages are unobtainable, food prices have gone up far more than they should have done, we pay tax so our government has the money to pay us "Tax Credits" so we have enough to live on?! Shouldn't the companies making the profits be paying more instead of the government? These same companies that don't pay any tax - due to the tax loop holes in the UK that caMORON promised pre-election to revoke but hasn't done so.

    I am amazed that not more people are voting for higher minimum wage, the top amount is what is needed to live in this awful country where we have children who are starving. Think about it - we are not getting the truth from our media here as they are as corrupt as our rotten government - who awarded themselves a 26% payrise this year and still continue to thieve through their expenses claims which also nothing has been done about this either. Corruption rules.
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