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Anorak | It goes down: that’s what the minimum wage is supposed to do you dimbulb idiot

It goes down: that’s what the minimum wage is supposed to do you dimbulb idiot

by | 30th, July 2013

DEAR Heaven above wouldn’t it be nice to be ruled by people of a slightly higher intellectual capacity than this? Here we’ve got the ex-head of the organisation that sets the minimum wage, The Low Pay Commission, complaining about the rate at which the minimum wage is being set.

The national minimum wage is no longer working because its value has fallen, one of its key architects said as a new study showed it could be worth less in 2017 than it was in 2004.

Well, perhaps it will be true that it will be worth less in the future than it has been in the past. Whether that’s a problem or not rather depends upon whether it was too high or too low in the past. But it’s the why it will be lower that has me praying for divine intervention:

The landmark measure, introduced by the Blair government 15 years ago this week, has dropped in value in real terms in the past five years after being pegged to wages, which have not kept pace with inflation.

So, all wages have dropped: no, this is not a good economic performance. But that is what has been happening. And if all wages are falling (real wages that is, after inflation) then why in God’s Name would anyone at all think that the minimum wage should rise? This is just silly: if all wages go down then why not the minimum wage go down? And of course it entirely ignores the basics about wages and taxation in the UK:

Professor Bain said: “In the early years of the minimum wage, we were successful in tackling some of the worst excesses of low pay and exploitation. This was our number one priority. The challenge for the next 15 years is much harder – how to help people earning above the minimum wage but below the living wage. Yet on current forecasts it looks like the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage could only widen in the coming years. Fresh thinking is going to be needed.”

Oh FFS. To within pennies an hour the difference between the minimum wage and the living wage is the amount of sodding tax that is charged to low wages. No, really, go look it up. If you get the living wage and pay your income tax and you national insurance then the amount that you end up with is around 10 p an hour different from what you would have got if you’d got the minimum wage but did not have to pay tax on it. So, to get the minimum wage up to the living wage is simple enough. Just stop taxing people on the fucking minimum wage.

I’m not religious in the least but even I’d be willing to pray to get this simple idea into the rocklike skulls of those who rule us.



Posted: 30th, July 2013 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink