By in Business

Minimal Living

A news story in one of today’s newspapers carried the headline “£7.00 minimum wage on the horizon”. On the face of it this appears to be good news as it is an increase of over 10% on the current figure. As a semi-professional cynic I would suggest that maybe we don’t all get too excited over this one. After all, has anyone ever actually reached the horizon?

On a related note, there is also the much mentioned figure referred to as the living wage which is meant to indicate the hourly rate at which one can actually meet one’s basic needs such as accommodation, food, utility bills etc. This figure is normally higher than the legal minimum wage.

This begs the question, if a company pays any staff member at a rate lower than the living wage, should they be charged with attempted murder?

Maybe they should!

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kat123456 wrote on January 5, 2015, 3:30 PM

I never pay too much attention to these talks. Especially when people don't receive rises every year so their wages are then coming down to nearer the minimum level

GedWrites wrote on January 5, 2015, 4:29 PM

Nobody should be earning less than £20,000 p.a full time .. I have always said this nobody listens. Oh and hello young Dazza!

WorDazza wrote on January 5, 2015, 4:36 PM

Of course you do realise if any government ever brought in such a law most employers would make everyone work part-time!!

phoenixmaid wrote on January 5, 2015, 5:20 PM

With a government that would rather pay companies to take on free slaves and call it workfare in power I think we stand little chance of seeing a living wage anytime soon.

Kasman wrote on January 5, 2015, 5:34 PM

GedWrites - try telling my boss that! The old skinflint hasn't given us a decent rise for ages!

GedWrites wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:38 AM

I've thought this through thoroughly and you need at least 20,000 to live reasonably comfortably, of course it would be nice for people to have more than that but there you go. I had a heated conversation with a relative at Christmas about not voting, I don't normally vote but his only answer was it is a wasted vote if you don't. Where I live I have seen so much corruption in local government it sickens me. I would never vote Conservative and the Labour Party do not have a leader who will ever get in, immigration would be a major concern with a Labour Government because of their soft approach ... I could go on forever but for once I'll stop emoticon :smile:

GedWrites wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:39 AM

I would have left by now, sometimes jobs are hard to come by and employers know that. Nice to see you here Mr K

WSEngland wrote on January 6, 2015, 11:02 AM

£20,000! Are you serious? My manager earns that amount. I on my £6.51 p/h and working roughly 35hrs p/w don't even get half that a year.

GedWrites wrote on January 6, 2015, 11:39 AM

That's what it should be, if I was you I'd be asking the question about a pay rise or get another job

WSEngland wrote on January 6, 2015, 12:40 PM

Oh I've tried many times to get a new job. I've had so many in the last 3 years I can't put them all on my cv. If there was a better opportunity out there I'd take it. But everywhere else for my skill level pays the same. My boyfriend is lucky, he is on £7 p/h only after kicking and screaming for 2 years and making himself indispensable to the company. He is still on a 0hr contract though so they can cut his hours as they please.

Koalemos wrote on January 6, 2015, 4:22 PM

raising the minimum rate simply starts a vicious circle. Other employees on higher rates immediately want extra pay to maintain the differential, which causes prices to rise and the new wages will only buy the same in the end.

teamshepherd wrote on January 7, 2015, 3:01 PM

That last question made me chuckle, the situation of the national min wage at the moment is way under the living wage and that doesn't make me chuckle at all

singlep34 wrote on January 14, 2015, 2:48 PM

My first ever job was at Glynn Webb , a diy store , I was on £2 an hour ! , we were talking about it yesterday . I think your right about companys paying less than a living wage , it's disgusting and wrong , I'd be marching thru the streets in strike if I was employed by such a company . I'd like to see David Cameron live on a pittence .

WorDazza wrote on January 14, 2015, 5:26 PM

Come now that's unfair. Some UK politicians were so hard up they had to fiddle their expenses!! Surely poverty was the only reason they did it!!

WordChazer wrote on January 15, 2015, 12:29 AM

Between you and Gedwrites I won't be short of a cynical post or two on my daily feed, that's for sure. What I want to know is what the hell do you have to do to become one of these high rollers trousering my current monthly wage in a week? Because I'd rather like to join the ranks of the Haves before I pass on, you know?

UK_Writer wrote on January 18, 2015, 4:39 AM

It's all just spin and PR by people who want to be voted in. One "flaw" is that if three people are paid the living wage and two of them are a married couple, they're actually well above the living wage, while the single languishes at the bare minimum still. This is all the fault of the Govt bringing in generous tax credits for certain groups of people, meaning employers didn't have to pay more than minimum wage. For those single people, whose wages aren't topped up by those benefits it's a tough life. Year after year on the bare minimum, nobody paying more as they "don't have to" - and surrounded by people with other incomes.

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 21, 2015, 7:15 AM

Love your "reaching the horizon" line. I agree with raising the minimum. Problem is that, at least where I live, there is that crazy gap developing between haves and have-nots, Erosion of the "middle-class" and all that. Thing is, when I graduated high school in the mid-70s, friends either went to university, to college, or secured [though usually through family/friend connections] a solid union job. One did not have to come from moderate wealth to flourish. I remember I was able to pay off my entire student loans in one year - working as a janitor. Such a scenario now seems like an illusion...

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 23, 2015, 8:07 PM

I don't know about the UK but the minimum wage in the US was never meant to be a living wage. Of course it was introduced at a time when few people owned autos and most people grew at least some of their own food.