Minimum Wage/Living Wage Discussed

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Your_Mums_Pal, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. Just seen snippets of this around but here are a couple of articles I had a read through today.

    Living Wage rise: Tens of thousands of low-paid workers boosted as hourly rate goes up 25p - Mirror Online - Mirror hails it as a positive thing with remarks from small business federation about not being able to afford it.

    A higher minimum wage is an easy answer that won't work - Telegraph - Telegraph talking mainly about the commercial disadvantages of higher minimum wage.

    Wage inequality rises across the UK | Money | guardian.co.uk - Guardian pointing out wage inequality within the UK, which is typically low paid work vs high paid work, with the argument that high earners are suffering more.

    Never seen a real discussion about minimum wage benefits on ARRSE but I have heard people around work (and at home, too) talking about plans to increase the living wage, and therefore minimum wage, quite recently so went for a snoop. Not sure how I feel, to be honest. Instinct as a minimum wage earner dictates that I should be punching the ceiling because politicians are looking into the possibility of giving me and people like me more money but at the same time I understand that there are disadvantages.

    Firstly, I'm worried that I might not have understood this correctly. Am I correct that 'living wage' is as measure of how much you SHOULD earn to live comfortably and that minimum wage is just the standard legal minimum rate that employers must pay?

    I've pointed out that in the right circumstances you can live on minimum wage, depending on your purchases and how you choose to live. It's not very hard. Just don't pay out more than you earn and budget - everybody does that regardless of what they earn. Even if you pull in £150,000 per year, you need to budget. People on here have made arguments in other threads that many folk have a tendency to live outwith their means and MUST HAVE the latest gadgets or technology or whatever else could be considered a luxury and I would agree with that. Many friends of mine, who make the same money that I do, are now in their late 20s and can't afford to move out of their parent's house despite working full time because they must have each new iPhone release or go on holiday twice per year with friends.

    This idea of living wage is something I've only just started reading into. At first it seemed unfair that if you lived in London, you would simply earn more even if you did the same job that I did but as I came to understand it a little better, I realised that rent and other such things are higher in the city and that's why this is the case. So living costs are said to differ around the country - which makes sense. What worries me about that is if there is a focus on just London then people who are living comfortably enough elsewhere (i.e. me) will start raking cash from employers - employers who might not be able to afford it - based on city politics.

    Being a minimum wage pleb type, I think I would rather have an incentivised job than simply earn more money. If somebody, somewhere, promotes me then yes, my wage should go up but otherwise, in my current position, I don't see what's wrong with a bonus or award scheme from companies. Jarrod is right when he tells me that the company don't care - I get that. But if they did, the better way to show it would be to reward hard work when it occurs as opposed to just increasing the wage because the government told them that they had to do it.

    Thoughts from anyone? Minimum wage - good or bad? And, given cost of living these days, do you think that the minimum wage should rise?
     
  2. Well all the talk of increasing it will worry large companies, they'll just take more jobs abroad and for some reason when people are low paid they don't get a second job to earn more.
     
  3. Filthy Capitalist.
     
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  4. Great to see Labour pushing the living wage. That would be the same Labour party that's awash with so called interns that are paid nothing at all.

    The Guardian also runs an intern scheme but it's only for black people. A step up from working free of charge on an 18th century plantation I suppose.

    Good old political hypocrisy. How does that phrase go "Don't do as I do ....."
     
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  5. No the minimum wage is just to keep you ticking over - not to live comfortably.

    Just because you are on minimum wage dosn't mean you will get the living wage, for example the minimum wage for under 21's and under 18's as it is less must assume that you live with your parents.

    The minimum wage should be gradually increased so it becomes a living wage.

    I can remember the bad old days before minimum wage. I had to do a night shift as I got paid £20 a week more, I could then nearly afford to live. Luckily I was only there for about 3 months as a fill in job, on leaving I doubled my income from day one in a completely different industry.

    The added benefit of a minimum wage = a living wage is it would become more worthwhile to work than claim benefits, those that did would pay tax into the government and put more money into the local economy.
     
  6. I've noticed it a lot in the past 3-4 years, there's a lot more Southern/ London accents around the North East.

    Economic refugees, and I include West Indians with southern accents in the mix.... just can't afford to live around London any more AND work.

    It's being abandoned to the rich and the benefit/ asylum seekers
     
  7. Same here in the NW. Many have sold dingy flats/houses and moved up to a rather nice dormer in a good area and can be found walking around and wondering where all of the high prices and traffic has gone.
     
  8. I'm in the Glasgow area but outside of the city so never had too much bother living off the money I earned. I had detailed that before. At this stage I was only on about £6.30 per hour. It wasn't necessarily easy - I had to keep a close eye on my money - but I managed it with little hassle. It must be hellish in London, though, with rent rates and so forth as high as they are. That and travel.

    Even if it had been 30 pence less, I'd probably still have managed it, missing about £20 per week, though, which ultimately formed part of the 50-60 quid I'd have to spend on myself. My rent in the flat was roughly £400 and it was a town centre area and a good place, too. In a 2 bedroom house but a little bit up the road from the same area I am £500.

    I do notice that in my company, people are on all different rates. Sometimes it depends on the size of the hotel you work at or any bonus allowances you've accrued (night shift or working as a duty manager) but the flat rate seems to differ for people, depending on what time they joined the company.
     
  9. There are too many people with the mentality of "If I earn more then I can go sick on...etc etc".
     
  10. People should be paid what they are worth, in terms of what they bring to the party with their skillset etc etc.
    Pay a monkey double time and he'll still be a monkey - and he'll be of the mindset that since he's earned a bit more than expected he can use it to consolidate an absence.

    Bin tax credits also I say.
     
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  11. Couldn't agree more with this. I would argue that setting a minimum wage just encourages many employers to pay the least they can and justify it. If you were paid - as you say, mate - your worth then the system would be more balanced and people would have to work hard to earn their share. Rather than just sweeping up the bare minimum, balanced by working tax credits, for sitting painting their nails all day.

    It really is about the cost of living, though. Is it as high as people claim it is? This argument that it's more expensive to rent and live in London does make sense to me but people do live within (or just beyond) their means, typically. Regardless of whether you earn £30,000 or £15,000 per year, you will live within the threshold of that. You will buy better things if you can afford them, do more to support family, look out for your kids etc. That does give the impression that higher wages can still not even seem like quite enough.

    And at the end of the day, you should still be bursting your arse for it. Excluding MPs etc, naturally...
     
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  12. And that's one of the little things that bugs me about the whole Bar/Pub/club trade. Managers tend to be paid f**k all and yet they're held responsible for multi million pound businesses (over a year at least). Then the trade wonders why no one wants to make a career out of it.......
     
  13. Exact same in the hotel trade. One hotel going down is a huge blow to the company - even with hundreds around the nation. Yet the keys are handed over to underpaid, overworked people, who often hold the place together completely by themselves. Not necessarily on topic with the discussion, but it's something to think about. Because these people are making minimum wage, most of the time, until they're actually given the title of manager and that seems to be arbitrarly awarded.
     
  14. People generally are paid what they are worth. But there's logic in intervening at the bottom end of the scale, for a number of reasons:

    1. To stop or reduce people being taken advantage of;
    2. To try and make it worthwhile for people to work at all - because benefits are always going to be set at a level that enables people to survive; and
    3. To limit the amount that the Government (really - me and other tax payers) have to subsidise employers not being paid enough to live on.

    Getting rid of the minimum wage does nothing to stop people "sweeping up the bare minimum, balanced by working tax credits, for sitting painting their nails all day" - probably the opposite.