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Local Community => Local Issues => Hazel Grove Elections May 2015 => Topic started by: Duke Fame on May 04, 2015, 11:10:05 AM

Title: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 04, 2015, 11:10:05 AM
I thought I'd be grown up and start a proper thread.

The greens have promised a minimum wage of £12 an hour, Labour £8 an hour which sounds lovely but who is paying for this? My business competes because we do things more efficiently than others, we have skilled staff who are motivated and valued but I must compete on a world stage and although my employees earn more than minimum wage, if they can earn £8 an hour in a low pressure role in the local authority, they will rightly want a higher wage in the more demanding environment of the productive sector. My wife runs a couple of retail shops, retailers struggle to pay the current minimum wage, a quiet week will see us dip into our own pockets to pay wages and it’s been a real struggle, business takes priority over holidays or leisure time and a look at the high street, especially in Stockport tells you that many retailers have not been able to meet even the current minimum wage, £8 or £12 will see all but the largest retailers disappear. Let the market dictate wages, not government, these lovely sounding promises have not been thought through.

Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: tigerman on May 04, 2015, 12:19:12 PM
Only connect. Perhaps you are missing something here. If people had a little more money in their pockets they would have more money to spend in your shops which would elevate your profits and then, as I am sure you are desperate to do, you would be able to pay your staff a decent wage. Poorer people tend to spend any extra purchasing power locally, boosting the local economy, unlike richer folk who buy large imported cars and foreign holidays.
Also, by paying low wages, you are being subsidised by the tax-payer through benefits.  Remember, the bulk of benefits are paid to low-wage earners.   


Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Dave on May 04, 2015, 12:31:00 PM
The greens have promised a minimum wage of £12 an hour

Duke doesn't need to worry about the Greens and their 12 quid an hour - as we all know, that ain't gonna happen!

but who is paying for this?

Well at the moment we taxpayers are paying for it, and thereby subsidising the staff costs of those employers who can't or won't pay people enough to live on.  We pay for it through tax credits, housing benefit and all the other in-work benefits which are costing us billions a year. So increasing the National Minimum Wage is one way of reducing the benefits bill, although it is likely to lead to an increase in unemployment, so the net reduction in total benefit payments would not be as great. 

 
Let the market dictate wages, not government,

Makes good sense as long as we are prepared either to raise taxes in order to pay for a big increase in the cost of tax credits etc, or abolish in-work benefits. 
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 04, 2015, 03:13:25 PM
Duke doesn't need to worry about the Greens and their 12 quid an hour - as we all know, that ain't gonna happen!

Well at the moment we taxpayers are paying for it, and thereby subsidising the staff costs of those employers who can't or won't pay people enough to live on.  We pay for it through tax credits, housing benefit and all the other in-work benefits which are costing us billions a year. So increasing the National Minimum Wage is one way of reducing the benefits bill, although it is likely to lead to an increase in unemployment, so the net reduction in total benefit payments would not be as great. 

 
Makes good sense as long as we are prepared either to raise taxes in order to pay for a big increase in the cost of tax credits etc, or abolish in-work benefits.

Well, our nmw earners live with their parents and have more spare money than you & I.

The idea of more money being in the economy creating more spending in the long run is trumped by simple economics as it simply devalues the currency & pushes up inflation.

If I'm paying the lowest paid staff £8, what should I pay the manager currently on £8?

Not thought through
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Dave on May 04, 2015, 05:45:39 PM

The idea of more money being in the economy creating more spending in the long run is trumped by simple economics as it simply devalues the currency & pushes up inflation.

I think Duke's confused again. I said nothing about more money in the economy creating more spending.

I obviously didn't explain clearly enough, so I'll try again.

Currently the NMW is so low that in many cases (millions of them) it has to be topped up by benefits such as tax credits in order to ensure that families can have a roof over their heads and avoid starvation.  So employers like Duke are relying on handouts paid for from my taxes to top up their inadequate rates of pay.  If the NMW is increased then that will reduce the need for it to be topped up through in-work benefits.

So basically what is needed is for the Duke Fames of this world to stand on their own two feet rather than sponging off the state. 😉
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 04, 2015, 10:55:09 PM
I think Duke's confused again. I said nothing about more money in the economy creating more spending.

I obviously didn't explain clearly enough, so I'll try again.

Currently the NMW is so low that in many cases (millions of them) it has to be topped up by benefits such as tax credits in order to ensure that families can have a roof over their heads and avoid starvation.  So employers like Duke are relying on handouts paid for from my taxes to top up their inadequate rates of pay.  If the NMW is increased then that will reduce the need for it to be topped up through in-work benefits.

So basically what is needed is for the Duke Fames of this world to stand on their own two feet rather than sponging off the state. 😉

I was addressing Tigerman's point at the same time. His point is that the lowest paid ave a higher propensity to spend and therefore, making businesses pay more for staff will mean they will spend it in the local economy and it's argued the multiplier effect helps move the economy on by increase demand. The assumption is wrong as it makes the economy weaker, forces employment down and competitiveness drops. 


In some cases those on NMW have their wages topped up by benefits but in many cases, most people live to their wage, not go scrounging off the state. Employers like me are not relying on handouts paid by your taxes, Employers like me create the wealth that create the taxes to pay your earnings as they appear to have come entirely from the state. If people live withing their means, there is no need for any in-work benefits and my employees on NMW are living with their parents so your mythical scenario of a subsidised workforce does not apply.

The Duke Fames of this world do stand on their own two feet, I just want everyone else to do the same.
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: bluebelly on May 05, 2015, 10:30:29 AM
thank god for the abolision of slavery
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Dave on May 05, 2015, 10:56:03 AM
your mythical scenario of a subsidised workforce does not apply.

4.3 million 'mythical' benefit claimants who are in work!   See http://ampp3d.mirror.co.uk/2014/03/18/how-many-families-are-in-work-and-on-benefits-youll-probably-be-surprised/

The Tories have committed themselves to benefit cuts of £12 billion if they are in government after Thursday, and there is little doubt that increasing the NMW by more than inflation will be one of the ways they will try to achieve that.  Osborne is already on record as saying that he believes they should do that.  And good luck to him.   

If you really can't afford to pay your staff properly, Duke, then you know what to do - put up the price of frilly knickers.  I'm sure they're worth it.   ;)
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Condate on May 05, 2015, 01:02:17 PM
In theory, there should be no need for a minimum wage, as employers should all be conscious of their grave responsibilities to their employees and provide wages which are sufficient to support them and their families. As Leo XIII says in Rerum Novarum

"Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice."

And again,

"If a workman's wages be sufficient to enable him comfortably to support himself, his wife, and his children, he will find it easy, if he be a sensible man, to practice thrift, and he will not fail, by cutting down expenses, to put by some little savings and thus secure a modest source of income.Nature itself would urge him to this. We have seen that this great labour question cannot be solved save by assuming as a principle that private ownership must be held sacred and inviolable. The law, therefore, should favour ownership, and its policy should be to induce as many as possible of the people to become owners."

Later, Pius XI says in Quadragesimo Anno

"In the first place, the worker must be paid a wage sufficient to support him and his family"

"In determining the amount of the wage, the condition of a business and of the one carrying it on must also be taken into account; for it would be unjust to demand excessive wages which a business cannot stand without its ruin and consequent calamity to the workers. If, however, a business makes too little money, because of lack of energy or lack of initiative or because of indifference to technical and economic progress, that must not be regarded a just reason for reducing the compensation of the workers. But if the business in question is not making enough money to pay the workers an equitable wage because it is being crushed by unjust burdens or forced to sell its product at less than a just price, those who are thus the cause of the injury are guilty of grave wrong, for they deprive workers of their just wage and force them under the pinch of necessity to accept a wage less than fair. "


Unfortunately, all employers do not live up to their duties and would provide inadequate wages if they could. I wish all employers and employees would understand their responsibilities, for the responsibilities and duties are not all on one side. Reading both the above documents, particularly I think their condemnation of socialism as a solution to the problems of the world,  would do all employers and employees a great deal of good.
 
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 05, 2015, 04:56:41 PM
Employees are paid to the value they can add to their employer. Simple as that, if you want more money, work harder or aquire a skill that pays more,
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: tigerman on May 05, 2015, 05:46:16 PM
Employees are paid to the value they can add to their employer. Simple as that, if you want more money, work harder or aquire a skill that pays more,

If you know your Karl Marx, workers create a "surplus value" meaning they are not paid the full value of their labour, the capitalist takes the extra value.
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 05, 2015, 10:27:30 PM
If you know your Karl Marx, workers create a "surplus value" meaning they are not paid the full value of their labour, the capitalist takes the extra value.

Very true, the combination of the employers' tangible and intangible assets gives the employer his required rate of return + a little for his risk.

Dave seems to think there is a world of exploitative business owners set on greed. He clearly has spent his time in cushy piblic sector jobs 'school admin' I think was his vocation and he simply would not know what it's like to run a business and creaTe wealth for others. A typical labour supporter.
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Dave on May 06, 2015, 07:52:02 AM
Wrong as usual, Duke!

Back in the 1970s I had a job as a teacher.   Since then I haven't set foot in a school apart from at parents evenings.

My last proper job before I retired was running a business with a turnover of £8 million a year.

I think I may even have voted Labour once!   

Seriously, Duke's relentless denigration of people in public service is ridiculous.   Yes, knicker salesmen create wealth, but teachers create knowledge and skills, doctors and nurses create health, police officers create a safe society, the armed service create national security.  We need them all. 
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: wheels on May 06, 2015, 10:21:58 AM
No Dave let the market decide if we need national defence and security force and police services.

The market is god.... Irony before the usuals jump up and down

Your defence of public services is well made Dave.
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: tigerman on May 06, 2015, 11:59:12 AM
I don't think anyone is trying to damn the small businessman but I don't think they are saints either. The problem for me is that over the last thirty years or so, the odds have increasingly been stacked against the worker who has to sell his labour. Governments are now held hostage by the vast multi-national companies who encourage low wages by threatening to take their jobs elsewhere. The much mooted "flexible workforce" is flexible for whom? I dont believe the Tory guff about workers enjoying the flexibility of zero-hour and short-term contracts, people need to know that they can pay the rent in the next quarter. Living with such insecurity can only be a hardship. The employer isnt taking any risk at all in such arrangements, he shows no responsibilty, he just lays off the worker.
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 06, 2015, 12:01:30 PM
Wrong as usual, Duke!

Back in the 1970s I had a job as a teacher.   Since then I haven't set foot in a school apart from at parents evenings.

My last proper job before I retired was running a business with a turnover of £8 million a year.

I think I may even have voted Labour once!   

Seriously, Duke's relentless denigration of people in public service is ridiculous.   Yes, knicker salesmen create wealth, but teachers create knowledge and skills, doctors and nurses create health, police officers create a safe society, the armed service create national security.  We need them all.

Yes, they do and our teachers are the 2nd best paid in Europe so we're not talking NMW people there.

We need everyone but not everyone is worth the same money and we'd rightly pay a top surgeon more than we'd pay a lowly nuclear free local authorities secretariat (the latter I'd dispense with altogether)
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 06, 2015, 12:04:27 PM
I don't think anyone is trying to damn the small businessman but I don't think they are saints either. The problem for me is that over the last thirty years or so, the odds have increasingly been stacked against the worker who has to sell his labour. Governments are now held hostage by the vast multi-national companies who encourage low wages by threatening to take their jobs elsewhere. The much mooted "flexible workforce" is flexible for whom? I dont believe the Tory guff about workers enjoying the flexibility of zero-hour and short-term contracts, people need to know that they can pay the rent in the next quarter. Living with such insecurity can only be a hardship. The employer isnt taking any risk at all in such arrangements, he shows no responsibilty, he just lays off the worker.


For the first time in the UK, we worked 1 billion hours a couple of weeks ago, that's not an economy built on restrictive hours.

Labour have created a myth with their lies. Sure, some may want to work longer hours but nobody can be bound to just one employer anymore so let's get on with it.
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Condate on May 06, 2015, 01:09:37 PM
We need everyone but not everyone is worth the same money and we'd rightly pay a top surgeon more than we'd pay a lowly nuclear free local authorities secretariat (the latter I'd dispense with altogether)

I'd also dispense with any nuclear free local authorities secretariat, (if there are any left) and also quite a number of other pointless and worthless public sector posts, but on the other hand, I and the rest of the population would be in dire straits without the essential work of other public sector workers, not least the emergency services, the police and the armed forces. There are as essential as those who create wealth. We need both. Obviously, there is a lot to debate about what should be done by public services and what should not, but it can't really be doubted that there is great value in many who do things other that create wealth (although we cannot do without the wealth creators).
Title: Re: Key Election Issue discussion - Minimum Wage
Post by: Duke Fame on May 07, 2015, 12:16:17 AM
I'd also dispense with any nuclear free local authorities secretariat, (if there are any left) and also quite a number of other pointless and worthless public sector posts, but on the other hand, I and the rest of the population would be in dire straits without the essential work of other public sector workers, not least the emergency services, the police and the armed forces.

Quite right, the sad thing was that too much money was spent on waste. As an example, Manchester City council announced, with great blame attributed to the coalition cuts, that it was cutting the mumber of lollipop ladies, swimming pools, libraries etc. the very same week it put on a concert by Alicia Keys costing 1/2m attended by council staff, labour councillors d' list celebs and a good number of wealthy footballers - labour are supposed to be all about the redistribution of wealth but I thought it was supposed to be downwards, not amongst the rich and the Labour councillors themselves. To me that's hideous and close to being corrupt (as for the C word, look up the Tiff plan with relationships between Labour's Dick Lease & Howie Bernstein with certain property developers)