Think tank warns that wages will rise on Brexit

It’s an odd thing to worry about to be sure:

Leaving the EU could cause catastrophic staff shortages in some sectors, as 88% of EU workers in Britain would not qualify for a visa under the current rules, remain campaigners have warned.

A report from the Social Market Foundation thinktank has found that the majority of the 1.6 million EU workers in the UK do not meet the skills and earnings criteria that those from outside the bloc need in order to qualify for a work visa.

There could be a severe impact on the UK labour market if freedom of movement were to end and workers from all countries were treated according to current rules, the study found.

Thus wages will rise. And the problem with this is?

44 thoughts on “Think tank warns that wages will rise on Brexit”

  1. And the problem with this is? Higher prices spring to mind, unless you’re as highly-educated as the Social Market Foundation, in which case you’ll probably think that time spent in classrooms is massively undervalued by plebian purchasers such as myself.

  2. The other problem is that it is simply not true that millions of eu workers would have to leave.

  3. I would say wages would rebound to their true level once you remove the source of cheap labour, but It’s a half empty/half full thing.

  4. It’s also assuming the government doesn’t change the non-EU work visa criteria. They are probably tighter than they would otherwise be because unlimited immigration from the EU leaves less room for immigration from the rest of the world.

  5. If the existing rules are causing a problem then an independent UK changes the rules so they aren’t.
    Which answers all of the doom and gloom forecasts for exit.
    They all assume that the UK government will be stupid, and that we the people will be stupid enough to reelect them

  6. The Meissen Bison

    In the event of catastrophic staff shortages (no, I don’t believe it either), the UK could alter its own rules.

    Is there a name yet for a think tank that doesn’t think?

  7. “Thus wages will rise. And the problem with this is?”

    Au pairs, etc will be more expensive? A disaster for the “hard working families” of metropolitan middle-class London.

  8. Wage increases? This is heresy! NB House price rises good: wage rises bad. Do you want to set back the grand old Thatcherite project that has kept the country on its knees for generations? Wash yor mouf out!
    Its always amusing to watch Anglia region TV news broadcasts which home in on Boston as a migration hell-hole.
    All of this area has traditionally relied on migrant labour for crop-picking, formerly Brit based Gypsies I believe, now Portuguese and Eastern Europeans. And who profits from this arrangement? The usual suspects: big landowners.And these are the fuckers who hypocritically fund various Brexit campaigns when there is no way they can get their stuff picked paying the rates Brit workers require to pay for inflated house prices and rents.
    And you’re telling me that Brit employers generally don’t rely on cheap overseas labour? Snort, snigger!

  9. I can only see wages rising if the Government has the will to deport all illegal immigrants too, which is not going to happen.

  10. Rising wages is predicted on falling number of workers. This is covered by market forces and is part of the market. Unlike the scummy state forcing increases in wages beyond the market rates.

    It is moot whether Brexit automatically means the EU imported workers must all piss off home. But if they have to then rising wages because of increased scarcity of workers are good for those workers if not employers. Some jobs maybe automated –as with minimum wages. But as yet not all jobs can be. So fewer workers to do the same work will force employers to bid up when hiring.

    Reedy–you would be better employed as a fruit picker than a brainless socialist nit picker. House price capers are a function of the antics of the corporate socialist state and its economic meddling and have very little to do with the market. You are still free to buy and sell your own home–which the socialist tyranny you advocate would put a stop to –but all the rest of the shenanagans are state created.

    Arnald–obviously not a problem in the socialist paradise you and Weedy favour. You can’t be worried about less workers raising wages for the reminder if you are embarked on the murder of millions of your own citizens. But then slaves don’t get pay rises do they Arnie. As you should know Burger Boy.

  11. “Do you not read anything you write?”

    Well, probably not closely, given our host’s spelling and grammar, however I imagine Tim forms his opinions before writing them down. He probably doesn’t need to read his posts to know what he thinks.

    A better question might be: “Why does the Left support Remain?”

    The general view is that the EU is neo-liberal, supports Austerity, and may even be holding wages down.And look what they did to Greece.

  12. “NB House price rises good: wage rises bad. Do you want to set back the grand old Thatcherite project that has kept the country on its knees for generations? Wash yor mouf out!”

    “House price rises good”

    Inflation adjusted prices:

    1979 to 1997: from 90k to 94k
    1997 to 2010: from 94k to 193k

    Thatcher set great store by home ownership, whilst Brown endlessly boasted about house price rises. The post-1997 Tory party has certainly been guilty by association with this, and still show only minimal signs of recognising that there may be a problem.

    “that has kept the country on its knees for generations?”

    On a day-to-day level, living standards are MUCH higher than they were pre-Thatcher (for whatever reasons). We should all be concerned about what’s happened to pensions, and house ownership, but blaming Thatcher is foolish.

    The state of the opposition in this country is shocking.

  13. Not only will wages rise (woo hoo!) but house prices will go down (woo hoo!). Thanks Remainers, you’re doing a lot of help for the Leave campaign.

  14. All you need to know, John Miller, is that minimum wage increases are mandated by the State and therefore are good. External factors are not to be allowed into the planning process though. That’s bad.

    On point, the only clause you need to read to dismiss this report is “under the current rules”. The whole fucking point of Brexit is for Britain to be able to set its own rules. Which it can’t do now. As already mentioned. But it seems to need to be reiterated for the cheap seats.

    DBC – is there anything you can’t drag house prices into?

    Arnald – TW was obviously pointing out that The Guardian would normally be all in favour of labour shortages (and hence increased wages), but that it’s interesting to see them on the other side for a change. That’s not in any way inconsistent with his previous opinions.

  15. Mr Ecks

    ‘As you should know burger boy’

    I did LOL at that comment (much to my colleagues’ bemusement) but isn’t that an insult to most employees in Burger King or Mcdonalds?

  16. Ltw

    Did you not know that a Land Value Tax will act as a cure for cancer as well as providing the key to life, the universe and absolutely everything – If you didn’t Snort! Snigger! – See, that told you!

  17. “DBC – is there anything you can’t drag house prices into?”

    More to the point, at what stage will DBC types blaming everything on the late Mrs Thatcher?

    It is 26 years since she was in power, during which time Labour achieved 3 election wins including 2 landslides.

  18. Whether or not higher UK wages after Brexit is a good thing or not depends on whatever new laws you pass.

    If goods and services move freely across borders but people can’t I would expect overall economic activity to drop.

    OTOH if goods and services face the similar restrictions as people do things like blast furnaces may become profitable again.

  19. Bloke in Germany

    @Pat, you are assuming that a British government with hands slightly untied will make better decisions than the EU. Chances are they will remain a similar mix of good and bad.

    If Brexit happens and the UK wants to retain market access it will have to sign up to something very close to the current freedom of movement rules anyway. Switzerland has an impending headache over the same issue since they voted (but have yet to implement) removal of right of settlement for EU citizens.

  20. The stock response to a comment like this

    “the late Mrs Thatcher”

    Why wasn’t she sooner?

  21. Jack C

    “It is 26 years since she was in power”

    Agreed, it’s a tiresome cultural indicator – but let’s see – who else rolls off the tongue as a political reference point?

    errrrm…

    Isn’t it strange that she shares that dubious hall of fame?

  22. “Why wasn’t she sooner?”

    More to the point…when did the delusion that you possess a sense of humour first appear?

  23. Theo

    It’s been one of his traits ever since he began ‘saying sensible things’ here (his own words) a few years back…..

  24. The Meissen Bison

    Theo / Van_P

    It’s a kind of counterpoint to differentiate from DBC – sort of light grey / dark grey.

    But still grey, of course.

  25. Arnald,
    I’m not sure I follow this.

    “Agreed, it’s a tiresome cultural indicator – but let’s see – who else rolls off the tongue as a political reference point?
    errrrm…
    Isn’t it strange that she shares that dubious hall of fame?”

    What are you trying to say?

  26. Jack C

    Asking him to explain himself is merely feeding the troll/ stool pigeon – coherence isn’t one of his strengths – my guess is it’s a hint at a certain German politician from the 1930s – a classic example of Godwin’s Law (and something of an irony given his idol’s policies and ideas on economics) but seriously – I wouldn’t even try…..

  27. Jack C

    you said

    “[various] types blaming everything on the late Mrs Thatcher?”

    I responded that I agreed that “blaming everything on Thatcher” is a lazy cultural reference.

    However, it is a strong cultural reference, it resonates.

    So my largely rhetorical question is “Who else has such a strong resonance?” The type that their name can be used in all manner of juxtapositions.

    It’s OT I know, but it’s an interesting point.

    You see, Van, I didn’t need to say anything other than “who else…” and you came up with your own answer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Godwinning. Mrs Thatch cannot be in any way compared to Hitler, however she was so divisive that her name has entered the colloquial lexicon.

    So Jack C is reinforcing this idea, that he’s surprised no thicky leftists have mentioned Thatcher.

    Now fuck off and learn to read.

  28. The difference between the imposition of minimum wage rises and a natural rise in wage levels due to competition for labour should be obvious in the differential effects on unemployment.

    Unemployment, at least long term such, being something that even the homeboys and the trolls on here might agree that we want to see less of?

    As for Maggie – yes, the inept fabulists that form the British left have done a very effective hatchet job on her time in office and her achievements. If the Tory party hadn’t cut its own throat in the mid-1990s, there might have been an effective rejoinder. But we got “a pretty (dis-)honest guy” and McRuin instead.

  29. Think Tank also incorrectly thinks it’s a referendum on leaving the Single Market. It’s an interesting thing to discuss and could be a manifesto commitment by some parties in 2020, but the question on the ballot next month is whether the UK should leave the EU.
    Which means the UK takes back control of farming, fisheries, justice, home affairs, policing etc and reduces the net contribution by about 1 day’s GDP.
    Leaving the Single Market, the Common Aviation Area, or any of the other things that involves non-EU and EU participants is not on the ballot. The cretins. I don’t expect a lot of voters to think because they are busy, but I do expect it of Think Tanks.

  30. Bloke in North Dorset

    “The stock response to a comment like this

    “the late Mrs Thatcher”

    Why wasn’t she sooner?”

    Indeed, if she’d be sooner, becoming PM in 1975 we’d have been spared the disaster that was Callaghan’s administration.

    And if you listen to the BBCs excellen Cnfidential programmes for the late 70’s and early 80’s you’ll hear senior Labour politicians from that period admitting they knew what had to be done but that they couldn’t do it.

    as a person I liked Callaghan, he was let down by his party and the Unions)

  31. but let’s see – who else rolls off the tongue as a political reference point?
    errrrm…

    Tony Blair
    Gordon Brown
    Winston Churchill
    Neville Chamberlain
    Clement Attlee
    Nye Bevan
    Charles DeGaulle
    Dwight Eisenhower
    Jack Kennedy
    Ronald Reagan
    Theodore Roosevelt
    … and the list goes on.
    Arnald, the point is that there are dozens of political leaders whose name can evoke a particular policy or decision (for good or bad). What we don’t (except in the case of Thatcher) see is those figures held up as the proximate cause of all that ails us today.
    Sure, some decisions (Munich Agreement, Pay of Pigs) had long-reaching effects, but we don’t routinely blame Chamberlain for (say) the EU – we recognize that any number of subsequent actors have done their part in creating current conditions. Similarly, when we attribute current problems to Jack Kennedy, we normally limit it to US/Cuba relations (and maybe Vietnam), in light of subsequent Presidential and congressional actions that have pushed and prodded his economic or domestic legacy one way or the other.
    For the (UK) left, though, Thatcher is different – despite overwhelming Parliamentary majorities held by quite different succeeding policy-makers, she is somehow responsible for every problem in the UK, a quarter-century after she left office.

  32. dcardno

    “Thatcher is different – despite overwhelming Parliamentary majorities held by quite different succeeding policy-makers, she is somehow responsible for every problem in the UK, a quarter-century after she left office.”

    So you agree that the Thatcher thing is culturally significant. Don’t blame it all on leftists. The right love to invoke her memory as some sort of political golden age.

    But this is precisely my point. I’m not talking about anything in so much detail that facts become to-and-fro. It’s about front-of-house labels.

    Exactly like Hitler is invoked when talking about next door’s cat shitting in your flower bed, or the local bus company suspends its services because of staff sickness (those bloody commie unions), Or Richard Murphy having an opinion about anything (he’d be at home in N Korea), My point was clearly demonstrated by some arsehole up there who fell into the hitler trap.

    there’s a caveat maybe if you’re a generation older than me, but i stand by it.

    Thatcher invokes either the Right versus Unions, or the bitch that created the welfare dependents.

    Churchill does equal WW2, and yes i know my history about the others on your list, but it’s a hard press to get very attached in the now.

    “she is somehow responsible for every problem in the UK, a quarter-century after she left office.”

    Because of course, policies only gain traction within a term?

  33. Dcardno/ Jack C

    I said feeding him was an error – and then just as an illustration – the prosecution rests. To call it nonsense on stilts is being generous. But he’s harmless enough if pretty offensive…

  34. Thatcher is still relevant because she created a new class of homeowners who could be relied on to vote for high house prices while the boring business of production and consumption in the economy (measured in wages) went down the tubes. So we have a younger generation of people who try to provide goods and services, hampered by high house prices and lack of aggregate spending power and a older generation who cling on to the grossly inflated house prices in fear of tax: like the Schedule A of Income Tax pre 1963 whose abolition ushered in the era of hard nosed Thatcherism , which the older Conservatives shrank from introducing.(Thatcher was probably too afflicted by the certitudes of science / autistic to notice).
    You may notice that the manipulation of State revenues to preserve an electoral majority is fascistic, something which Thicky Thatcher sailed close to the wind with at Hillsborough and Orgreave .
    Except for the final remark, most of the rest of this is perfectly obvious. Shouldn’t you be manoeuvring your way out of it, instead of pretending there’s nothing the matter?

  35. “Thatcher is still relevant because she created a new class of homeowners who could be relied on to vote for high house prices”

    As I pointed out earlier, house prices didn’t rise in any material manner during the Fatch! Reign of Terror. Home ownership certainly did rise, meaning fewer renters, and so less business for rentiers.

    You need to look at the Brown years instead. I’m pretty sure that Thatcher would have been dead against homeowners cashing in equity.

  36. I have been watching an amusing film, The Big Short, in which a bunch of smart American fellows realised in 2007 that house prices had become detached from reality and were forming a bubble.They took steps to capitalise on this market myopia but the dramatic impetus of the piece derives from the fact the whole of the market simply laughed at them. Fact was that in this country (UK, for our far flung comrades) everybody realised that the bubble was unsustainable and was waiting for the bust .(Frederick Harrison ,using a Henry George based analysis, predicted the Credit Crunch in print to within a month of its happening).
    It is one thing to ignore bad news on the house price bubble by jamming your fingers in your ears and closing your eyes .But when it starts happening again , as now, something is seriously wrong.

  37. “But when it starts happening again , as now, something is seriously wrong.”

    Agreed Reedy–its called corporate socialism and it was the foundation of the “mixed (up) economy” that you drool about in your 50s nostalgia-fests.

  38. @ MR X
    That goddammed corporate socialism, it got all over the American housing finance industry and forced it at gunpoint to issue all those mortgage based derivatives that undermined the world’s banks. Oh I forgot ;this is exactly what you think did happen.

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