Lefties really can be cunts, can\’t they?

It\’s led some on the left to lose faith in the gradualism of the national minimum wage and the Low Pay Commission – made up of employers, unions and academics – which oversees it. They favour usurping the late 90s settlement on low pay, replacing it with an externally imposed increase in the minimum wage to bring it into line with the far higher living wage (though it\’s important to note that the living wage campaign itself rejects this legislative approach).

You can see the argument: as work by the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Public Policy Research shows, big employers in some important sectors could afford to pay the living wage without it resulting in a major hit to their overall wage bill – in part because the bulk of pay is skewed to the top. Meanwhile, the potential savings to the taxpayer, owing to lower spending on tax credits and benefits and higher tax revenues, run into billions.

Let\’s raise the minimum wage so that we can gouge more tax out of the working poor. Very cuntish behaviour.

7 thoughts on “Lefties really can be cunts, can\’t they?”

  1. Nb big employers in some important sectors. What happens to all the other employers or would-be employers if we suddenly ramp up the cost of hiring low productivity or unskilled workers? Do the left even care if their plans create more unemployment?

  2. “big employers in some important sectors could afford to pay the living wage without it resulting in a major hit to their overall wage bill”

    I wonder how true this actually is ?

    The workers on minimum wage tend to be in the cleaning or catering/restaurant trades. Most of these aren’t big employers.

    They’d have a point if the likes of Tesco was paying the NMW to tens of thousands, but Tesco doesn’t. Wage rates at Tesco start at about £7 ph.

  3. What Shinse1 said but also what makes anyone think that the constraint on wage rises is the %age of the total wage bill? If the increase is bigger than the firm’s profit it has the choice of sacking workers or going out of business. The last P&L account I looked at the wage bill was over 6 times the pre-tax profit.
    In 1997 the government said nobody would be sacked because of the National Minimum Wage by making it illegal to sack anyone on the grounds that a rise in pay to NMW made them uneconomic, so dozens of UK textile companies went bust and closed down – more than three-quarters of the jobs have gone.

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    John77,

    Have you got a link to that? I don’t think s25 of the 1998 Act actually says what you are suggesting. It does say that you cannot select them for redundancy is if they (or somebody on their behalf) is trying or has tried to get them the minimum wage.

    You could, as I read it, say “okay, we can only afford 20 of you now, so that’s 5 redundancies. Volunteers first then lifo,” and that would not be in explicit breech. (There might be an implicit breech if it was the newer workers who were campaigning …)

  5. When the NMW came in a number of local employers where I was living kept their wage bills the same. Just reduced staffing while requiring remaining staff to together do the same total work.

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