On the Fair Tax Mark and the Minimum Wage

Anyone at the Labour Party Conference? Could you ask a question for us?

I am speaking at two meetings at Labour Party conference tomorrow.

The most important has been organised by the Cooperative Party and the Fair Tax Mark. It’s at 5.45 in Meeting Room 7 and has the title:

‘Fair Tax, the new Fairtrade: how can Labour lead the agenda?’

Meg Hillier, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee is, I suspect. the star attraction.

Could someone ask Ritchie how he feels about 10% of the holders of the Fair Tax Mark having been dunned for underpaying the minimum wage?

Follow up question – does he think this is a higher or power portion than companies and employers in the economy in general?

29 thoughts on “On the Fair Tax Mark and the Minimum Wage”

  1. Supplementary question to ask:

    will the FTMs awarded to two companies which appear to have flouted the minimum wage laws be withdrawn from them as unworthy holders of it

  2. I imagine any of your readers who are at the conference will not be at the conference much longer after asking that question!

    Can you be “deselected” as a labour member? I’d foresee that as well.

  3. I’d be more surprised if anyone here was a Labour Party member, tbh.

    A paid up ‘supporter’ to inject Jeremy into an unassailable leadership position maybe, but a member? Never!

  4. Won’t his response for the gallery be just to say ‘FTM is just for tax – we can’t and don’t assess other conduct’.

    I’m sure his big idea for FTM is to make it compulsory for public tenders. That would be the impetus for the business.

    I work for a big Labour controlled council and it isn’t on the radar screen – haven’t heard it mentioned once. The direction of travel is to reduce these sort of barriers to compete for contracts, not add new ones.

  5. Adrian

    “I’m sure his big idea for FTM is to make it compulsory for public tenders.”

    Almost right, you just need to delete “for public tenders”.

  6. From the FT:

    Some critics view the Fair Tax Mark as a public relations gimmick with inadequate governance and accountability.

    Judith Freedman, a tax law professor at Oxford university, says: “I am not convinced it is giving us useful information. It could be misleading. I don’t see why [businesses] should sign up for it.” She points out that SSE is being investigated over competition issues. This underlines the “complexities and dangers of trying to use any one factor to guide consumer behaviour”, she says.

    https://www.ft.com/content/5960de76-a9f7-11e4-9fa7-00144feab7de

    Freedman is spot on. Paying an arbitrarily defined “fair” amount of tax doesn’t suddenly make a company ethical. You could have a company that failed to pay the minimum wage, used child labour, and whose workplaces broke every health and safety regulation, but because they pay the “right amount of tax (but no more), in the right place, at the right time”, that’s OK then.

  7. “Judith Freedman, a tax law professor at Oxford university, says: “I am not convinced it is giving us useful information.””

    Exactly.

    All we know is that a company has paid some money and got the Mark.

    Didn’t one of the companies that received the Mark have a subsidiary in a tax haven? All we were told about that was that the awarders of the Mark were ‘satisfied with the explanation given” an explanation which Murphy and his cronies howl about when HMRC give it.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    “I’d be more surprised if anyone here was a Labour Party member, tbh.”

    Do you need to be a member to attend fringe meetings?

    AIUI Ritchie boasts that he’s not a member.

  9. Meg Hillier, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee is, I suspect. the star attraction.

    Did the Prof write that? Is this the dawning of a new self-awareness or a self-deprecating flourish from the supreme Narcissus?

  10. @John Sq,

    It’s interesting to note that Corbyn would have won on the basis of full membership – i.e. even without the backing of the £3 trots.

  11. Blue Burmese

    You forget Judith Freeman is a neo -liberal troll who has been accused by Murphy of myriad crimes on Twitter – in his eyes that makes her guilty.

  12. Do you need to be a member to attend fringe meetings?

    AIUI Ritchie boasts that he’s not a member.

    After his slating of Corbyn and McDonnell, I wonder if a few from Momentum will turn up to his meeting and enliven it?

  13. BiG>

    “It’s interesting to note that Corbyn would have won on the basis of full membership”

    No, that’s just another of the flagrantly dishonest things Corbynites say. Check the historical membership figures. The vast majority of Labour supporters are no longer members, and haven’t been for decades. Corbyn would have won on the basis of those who had already infiltrated the party by the time he started making it harder to do so, that’s all.

  14. It’s not fair tax they want. McD is after full tax! Strange they don’t get on. Ritchie would appear to have wet dreams about full tax.

  15. hodginator

    He was offered a position in the Mcdonnell team last year but because it wasn’t paid enough and did not make him head honcho he turned it down. I have this almost direct from the horse’s mouth. Since then they have engaged in a proxy battle over TRUK and through Hard Left blogs.

  16. The vast majority of Labour supporters are no longer members, and haven’t been for decades.

    By ‘supporters’ here do you mean just voters?

  17. @Dave, I am going on the numbers quoted by the Daily Hellograph. Granted, not known for its accuracy, but equally not a friend of Corbyn.

    If the party’s traditional members have left and been replaced by hundreds of thousands of entryists, the party still has to respect the wishes of its legal members. They are clearly a sizeable constituency, and their lack of representation in the post-Bliar era is at least partly down to the political system in the UK which is destined to domination by two parties. There isn’t an option for coalition-style politics, by a spectrum of parties, instead the parties have to build internal coalitions.

    It’s hardly the first time we have seen this attempt at hard-left dominance within the labour party.

    Perhaps the US and UK will swap systems, with Comrade President Corbyn entertaining the state visit of King Donald I. Given that both are national socialists, I think it would make a good match!

  18. It’s not fair tax they want. McD is after full tax! Strange they don’t get on. Ritchie would appear to have wet dreams about full tax.

    There is no dirtier war than a far-Left civil war.

  19. Labour opened up their membership to all and sundry. All and sundry then proceeded to vote for who they wanted. Labour cried.

    They cannot even manage their own fucking party and they expect to be elected to govern the country?

  20. Mcdonnell has announced that a Labour government will ensure that everybody will earn enough to live on.

    Wonderful, so making one cup of tea a week will earn me enough to live on. I won’t need to use my savings? Joyful bright uplands! Not so bright for people in their 90s forced to earn money to stay alive.

  21. BiG: I watched my party being taken over by right-wing Orange Bookers and the resultant fall-out, so I’m sitting here with my supply of popcorn.

  22. Cynical Fortysomething: Sadly that’s not much different to the Osborne version, which I think is supposed to be up to £9.50 by the next election.

  23. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Mcdonnell has announced that a Labour government will ensure that everybody will earn enough to live on.”

    Yep, and he’s also announced we’re going to get Socialism V20.1, with no explanation of why this time we will get different results.

    Einstein’s definition of madness put to the test yet again.

  24. @jgh,

    To be fair the orange bookers are where the liberals should have been, and were if you go back far enough. IMNSHO. You can have economic and social liberalism at the same time. In a way it was surely just a reversal of the SDP takeover?

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