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Labour’s plan for a £10 minimum wage

By Dan Wilson September 27, 2016 - 10:34 pm

In April this year, former Chancellor George Osborne’s proposal that a “living wage” of £7.20 for the over 25s came into force. And that rate will rise to £9 per hour across the UK by 2010.

Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said at their national conference in Liverpool that Labour will introduce a minimum wage of at least £10 when it takes power. That would represent something like a £19,250 annual wage for the lowest paid.

McDonnell recognised in his plans that some small businesses would struggle to meet such an expense and pledged help for small firms although there were no firm details of what they might be.

With the way things are going in British politics it would seem that the prospects of a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn any time soon are fairly remote. But if such a proposal were to come into force, would you be affected?

  • Richard
    6 months ago

    “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”

    This money has to come from somewhere. Businesses can’t afford it to pay it and so workers would lose their jobs. Unemployment benefit spending by the government increases. Taxes are raised. People have no money to buy things. More businesses go under. More people lose their jobs. Benefits bill rises even more. Taxes are raised. Everyone’s broke. Country is a mess and in huge debt. People start voting the Tories in again.

    Let’s just skip all of that and not have a socialist government.

    • james
      6 months ago

      yet we have countless corporations posting post-tax (if they paid any at all) profits into the Billions of £’s, whilst their 10,000+ strong workforce are made to rely on tax credits and child benefits to make their wages stretch as far as food and rent?
      does this benefit the country?

      if businesses cant afford to pay their staff enough to eat, it’s not a viable business.
      if you cant afford to pay your staff enough to eat, yet you go on 4 holidays a year, you’re just scum.

    • Daniel
      6 months ago

      I doubt there are many small, high street retailers that can afford to pay their staff almost £20,000 a year.

      Even if their profit margin is 35% and they sell everything they buy (no damages, no theft, no remainders), then they need to take £60,000 just to cover a single member of staff.

      But according to the socialists, newsagents, petrol stations and the rest are all “unviable”. You must all shop at supermarkets owned by large corporations! No more middle class, just billionaires and their political lackeys. Because it’s fairer that way.

    • james
      6 months ago

      so £60,000 per year turnover is not realistic?
      if your business takes in less than £1k a week gross, on a 35% margin, you shouldn’t be hiring staff, its not viable.

      newsagents on minimum wage?
      most newsagents i see are owner-operated with nice new BMW X5’s parked outside.
      most of the petrol stations i encounter are BP, Shell, Tesco… none struggling to make ends meed afaik, but somehow their staff are.
      did you choose these two examples on purpose? or do you genuinely feel BP should be subsidised at the nation’s (and their staff’s) expense?

      no, there arent many small high-street retailers. period.
      the big chains killed them all by squeezing margin from wages, and forcing staff to rely on government subsidies, so the big high street chains can please their shareholders with year on year growth.
      – there arent many high street newsagents, becuase tesco undercut them with tax-credit supported staff and tax loopholes.
      (not to mention the internet… :-/ )

      the thing is, if 20k is the minimum wage, then people HAVE MORE MONEY.
      if they have more money, they can SPEND more money.
      if they can spend more money, then prices/turnover can be high enough to support a 20k wage.

      tesco cant undercut the high street newsagents with cheaper wages than them. so (rather than burden the costs, like they could) tesco’s prices go up, high street prices go up, workers get paid enough to afford the prices, shops earn enough to pay fair wages, the government stops subsidising corporations who dont appreciate their human resources.

      (its a vicious circle of inflation resulting in little net benefit, except to put money in the hands of workers rather than corporations, and cut the government subsidy of corporation wages)

    • Steven
      6 months ago

      I’m all for a £10 minimum. Along with the scrapping of family tax credit and forced labour camps for anyone expecting to sign on for more than 6 months

    • Neil
      6 months ago

      If wages go up, prices go up, Labour starts shouting that the wage should be £12 an hour.

      And so it goes on.

      For an example, look at Australia.

      It just DOESN’T work.

      Yes, if you take Australia as a void which doesn’t deal with the outside world it works. But what really happens is many, many people there buy from abroad where the prices need not be so high = Australian businesses don’t make the sales = Australian businesses have to further raise their prices to cover the diminished profit = more sales go overseas.

      It’ll happen anywhere that wages rise beyond other civilised countries.

  • 6 months ago

    Whenever I hear the next economic idea they’ve come up with, I’m reminded of an episode of bagpuss, where the mice “make” chocolate biscuits in a mill (Bagpuss – E08 – The Mouse Mill) It’s about the same level of fantasy and stuck in the 70s

  • 6 months ago

    We already pay around or about the living wage and I do not believe this will put jobs at risk in good businesses as the more you pay the better the staff you get pay pea nuts get monkeys.
    As for labour just spending and squandering money I don’t think that will be the case this time don’t forget at £10 an hour they will save millions in working tax credits and good companies will still need staff .

    • Sam O'levski
      6 months ago

      Surely a better way to save on working tax credits is to make those suffering from lazyitis go out and work….somewhere, anywhere, or else lose benefits ?
      I’m sure I’ve been through this before on here, but will do so again.
      In the small town where I live in an officially deprived area, there are Eastern Europeans employed in the hotel trade, yet more than enough locally born people sit on their bottoms living off the state. Everyone knows everyone else here, so it’s a well known fact who the people are who are fit and well, yet have not worked for many years.
      Most small shops here cannot afford staff, and the ‘lucky’ ones who have a family can claim enough in tax credits to keep their shops open, which gives the local population an alternative to online shopping……. yes, many of you on here will be partly responsible for the demise of small town shops due to progress and so on.
      I am not an economist or anything of that nature, but I fail to see how merely increasing wages will help regenerate the economy – won’t we still have the same cycle of increasing prices due to higher wages, followed by more wage increases to keep up with inflation, leading to shops having to raise prices to cover the increased costs of employing staff ?

    • Neil
      6 months ago

      You offer £10 an hour as minimum wage.

      £10 an hour will then buy the peanut / monkey.

      £12 an hour will be considered the “reasonable” minimum.

      You can see that if you are an employer now. You offer £7.20 or whatever the new “living wage” is, and despite it being about 10% more than last year’s minimum wage, people won’t take it.

      We have a whole generation of workers who all think they are a cut above everyone else – and in many cases they aren’t.

      At the same time there are a whole group of eastern European workers who think that £7.20 is so marvellous that they’ll queue up for the same job.

  • Daniel
    6 months ago

    The current crop in charge of Labour are the same people who were singing the praises of Venezuela a couple of years ago. Jeremy Corbyn said it showed there was another way. The likes of Diane Abbot and Owen Jones even visited there during the election.

    They keep very quiet about it now.

  • Sam
    6 months ago

    I agree with James.

    If the business can afford to then they should; countless businesses making multi-million (even billion) £ profit whilst paying their employees the absolute bare minimum who then rely on tax credits & childcare just to scrape by every month.

    The businesses that genuinely can’t should be properly supported by appropriate subsidies rather than benefits currently paid individuals to make ends meet. How about we take some of that tax certain multi-national’s should be paying and use that to support our businesses and our workers and pay our staff enough to live on.

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