That Neal Lawson really is a wag, isn\’t he?

Labour must admit it messed up on the economy

While Labour delivered some good things, its economic record is nothing to be proud of.

Err, yes Neal. It\’s just that you\’re about 3 years behind the electorate and perhaps 15 years behind all who know anything about the subject.

But I\’m afraid that you\’re really going wrong later on.

But, crucially, it broke the state by redistributing (good) but through tax credits (bad) instead of ensuring companies paid a living wage.

It\’s going to be amazing all you living wage peeps, when you survey the wreckage of (even worse) mass unemployment brought about by imposing such a living wage.

What is the rate now? £8? £8.50 an hour, something like that? You just wait and see what will happen if you try and impost that on the economy at large.

I will admit I do find this all quite amusing. There were those who agreed that a low minimum wage would stop some gross exploitation but we must make sure that it\’s not too high. For there really is an effect on employment rates and we don\’t want to have too much of that.

But here we have exactly the old minimum wage arguments bak again, just they\’re pitched 25% above the minimum wage and called the living wage. It\’s all exactly the same bollocks all over again.

Labour must accept that economic efficiency and social justice do not go hand in hand.

Slightly worrying don\’t you think? You can just hear the next line…..thus we must be inefficient in order to be just.

Credibility will come from saying: we understand capitalism and we know when and how it needs to be regulated.

Snigger. No, credibility will come from showing that you understand capitalism. So you\’d better get reaqing laddies for you\’ve a lot to understand.

11 comments on “That Neal Lawson really is a wag, isn\’t he?

  1. If we’re serious about reducing unemployment we should:
    – reduce the marginal deduction rate (of benefits) to zero for the lowest paid – the Universal Credit part of the Welfare Reform Bill is a modest step in the right direction
    – abolish all requirements to seek work in exchange for benefits – there aren’t enough jobs anyway, so why distort the market and waste everyone’s time by forcing people to apply for jobs they don’t want
    – abolish the minimum wage.

    In other words, if you want more employment, make it cheaper to employ people. And if you want to prevent exploitation of the low paid, stop forcing people to take jobs.

    I just wrote a piece about this on my site…

  2. I agree that we should not impose a living wage on employers, but neither should the taxpayer subsidise underpaying employers, e.g. by providing housing benefit to low paid workers in expensive locations like London.

  3. So, is there going to be legislation to exclude workers from other parts of the EU from getting this new raft of jobs that have the ‘living wage’?

    No? Thought not, as it will be against EU, and all kinds of other discrimination law.

    The result? All the ambitious non-British people who have been doing the minimum wage jobs that the lazy unambitious British people have been spurning (in favour of benefits or crime) will take these new jobs.

    Well done. You have given them a pay rise.

  4. I agree that we should not impose a living wage on employers, but neither should the taxpayer subsidise underpaying employers, e.g. by providing housing benefit to low paid workers in expensive locations like London.

    How does the taxpayer subsidise employers in this regard? Are you going to use the same argument some lefty did on a forum I used to visit, and contend that the workforce could not survive on the wages the company pays without the state subsidy? Because if so, it’s bollocks: the workforce could survive, just not in a manner which sits well with society’s conscience. And thus it is society’s desires the taxpayer is subsidising, not the employer.

  5. Tim Newman

    Hmm. It is absolutely possible for a company to pay less than the minimum amount of money required for food and shelter. I’m sure the workforce could sleep on park benches and pick scraps out of rubbish bins, but it might have an effect on their productivity. Rather a short-sighted policy on the part of employers.

    But, of course, if the workforce isn’t prepared to sleep on park benches and eat scraps in the expensive prime locations where some companies choose to locate themselves, those companies will find it a little difficult to recruit, won’t they? Which might encourage said companies to move somewhere cheaper.

  6. abolish all requirements to seek work in exchange for benefits – there aren’t enough jobs anyway, so why distort the market and waste everyone’s time by forcing people to apply for jobs they don’t want

    We cannot say there aren’t enough jobs and then also complain about the Eastern Europeans coming over here and taking all our (non-existant) jobs.

    Why is it immoral to expect a native-born Britain to do one of those jobs the Daily Mail bitches about being taken by “foreigners” in return for having a legallly-enforced hand in my pocket?

  7. Frances Coppola – “It is absolutely possible for a company to pay less than the minimum amount of money required for food and shelter. I’m sure the workforce could sleep on park benches and pick scraps out of rubbish bins, but it might have an effect on their productivity. Rather a short-sighted policy on the part of employers.”

    Well this is a long-standing traditional policy for young people – who tend to prefer staying with their parents than sleeping on park benches. It used to be common for women as well, given they tended to only supplement their husbands’ earnings. I don’t see much wrong with it myself.

    “But, of course, if the workforce isn’t prepared to sleep on park benches and eat scraps in the expensive prime locations where some companies choose to locate themselves, those companies will find it a little difficult to recruit, won’t they? Which might encourage said companies to move somewhere cheaper.”

    Which would be good for the north. The largest impact of national pay scales is that everyone leaves Hull for London. If you have to pay your workers the same, of course you do.

  8. The largest impact of national pay scales is that everyone leaves Hull for London.

    Is it? I thought the impact of national pay scales is that you can live reasonably in the civilised world whereas the unfortunates trying to work in London are paupers? Hence London weighting and the union opposition to regional pay bargaining.

    People do indeed leave Hull for London but that is because of the increased opportunities, not because of the cost of living benefits if you happen to have a job on a national pay scale.

  9. I think SMFS thinks of the world from the employers’ viewpoint.

    The extra cost of living in London is a bit of a myth. How much of that extra cost reflects the fact that living in London is better than living in Hull? A £1m house (flat in some parts) in London is not worse than a £1m house in the East Midlands, so the market tells us.

  10. I’m sure the workforce could sleep on park benches and pick scraps out of rubbish bins

    As So Much For Subtley points out, it is unlikely companies will pay wages so low their workforce has to sleep on park benches and eat out of bins: after all, as you note, it would affect their productivity. However, they would probably only pay enough for them to live in shared accommodation (as was often the case in the USSR when the state was the only employer), and not enjoy having a house all to themselves. So if society feels people should not be required to live in shared accommodation, then it is society’s desires which are being subsidised.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.