Rather than rewrite this, here\’s the comment left on Maddy Bunting\’s this morning.
My God, why did you bother to sit on a Committee if you weren\’t going to take any notice of the information in front of you?
"Many poor families may now have an earner, but it has not got them out of poverty: the number of poor children living in working households is 1.4 million – exactly the same figure as it was in 1997. Half of all children living in poverty have a parent in work."
Even Polly has got on board with this one: the income tax net starts at too low a wage. We\’ve got the absurd situation whereby someone on that minimum wage both pays income tax and also receives means tested benefits. Ludicrous. We end up with some people in that situation facing 70%, 90%, even in some special cases, over 100% marginal tax rates. So of course they\’re still in poverty, the system is actively militating against their doing the extra hours, changing jobs or getting more training so as to raise their wages.
The first thing to do is take the working poor out of the income tax net: as, for example, UKIP suggest, make the personal allowance £10,000.
"In some regions, the proportion of low-paid is well over 25%, while in some constituencies (in Wales, Birmingham, the West Midlands, even the rural West Country) it is comfortably over 40%."
You might therefore take the obvious conclusion from this. The level of relative poverty in the UK is in fact a result of the differences in regional pay (and also regional living costs). It\’s a structural matter to do with London being the richest region in Europe: within the various regions of the country we don\’t have the variance in incomes you posit, it\’s only at that national level when we include London.
"Increases in the minimum wage are not keeping pace with average earnings, and it is set at a considerably lower rate than in other countries."
The minimum wage is lower than in other countries? Really?
In the UK it\’s 61% of GDP per capita. The US 27%. Switzerland, 38%. Sweden doesn\’t have one, Spain, 31%. Portugal 32%. New Zealand 57%. Holland 47%. Luxembourg 24%. Ireland 40%. Greece 33%. France 51%. Canada 31%. Belgium, 53%. Austria 37%. Australia 53%.
We have a higher minimum wage compared to the general income of the country than any of the other rich economies on that list. Where on earth did this "lower rate" come from?
What on earth have you been doing on this Commission? Are facts adjusted first to fit your desired conclusions?
Lawks, it is to laugh.