The minimum wage is wrong because it is over simplified.
A company that makes a profit of a few thousand per year is required to pay the same minimum wage as a company which rakes in billions per year. Also no matter how much work you are required to do or how much responsibility you are required to take they can still pay you the same minimum wage. I can't see how that can be right.
As I see it, it was 1 sensible policy from Labour for a change. It had just 1 aim and it achieved that in the legit economy, to wipe out sweat shop labour overnight.
CTG what would you suggest it be replaced by ?
Peter, as you know the biggest problem facing the UK is that we dont make anything any more. Increasing the minimum wage makes us even less competitive.
The only solution as I see it is to have a partnership between the employer and the government whereby the tax credit system and the minimum wage are integrated into the IRS and translated into salary.
With the minimum earnings allowance now being 10,000 before tax is paid , and with sophisticated computer programmes the norm in business today it must surely be possible to create a scheme whereby people at lower end of pay scale can work for real money without burden of taxation, helped by the governemnt , and administered jointly by the employer and IRS computer saving billions that is thrown away on administering the tax credit scheme.
I think your £15 is wholly unrealistic in todays world, but I do think things could be improved substantially.
Nigel + Peter C
I'm writing this as a joint address because here is how I see it and would be interested to hear what you both think.
Rather than wipe out sweat shop labour overnight the only thing the minimum wage did was to legitimise sweat shop labour and allow inequality to flourish legally.
Person A is being paid £20 per hour for doing the same work as person B who is paid £15 per hour and person C is doing the same work as person A+B for minimum wage or £6.08 per hour which is why I say it hasn't wiped out sweat shop labour. Years ago someone could pay you sweat shop wages of £1 per hour and the equivalent rate today would probably be around £6 when you look at how much prices have gone up. So while we are no better off all the minimum wage does is to give the employer an air of respectability because now they can fall back on the fact they aren't doing anything wrong they pay minimum wage or if they pay even £6.09 per hour they can truthfully say they pay their workers above minimum wage. As a child you could get a loaf of bread for about 16p and now if you look you are looking at about 60p with most loaves being nearly £1.50 and it is the same with most things.
I went for a job with a mobile phone company in Stoke on Trent a few years ago and they wanted me to run a department, act as a courier for any files or other items that needed delivering amongst other duties all for the minimum wage which was about £5.25 at the time.
The minimum wage needs to be structured so they are required to pay you not just an hourly rate but it should also take into account the amount of work you are required to do and the responsibility you are required to take on. Also a company making an annual profit of a few thousand shouldn't be required to pay the same minimum wage as a company earning an annual profit of billions. How can anyone see it as just that a small corner shop pay the same wage for less work than a bank earning billions paying the same wage to a worker who as to do more work.
I dont think there is an easy solution and I will tell you why.
Britain is already 78% dependant on services and doesnt make anything any more. The measly 22% production needs to rise to more than 50% to get us back to a working society.
The VERY LAST THING the UK needs right now is more employment laws and bureaucracy , we need the opposite.
Therefore, for that reason as I said above , i think the ONLY solution is a complete restructuring of the way we do everything , and where employers and the governemnt work together in partnership through the tax system to make it a fairer place for the lower paid sector of the economy, which would be mostly manufacturing.
In a way I agree with what both you and Nigel say but at the same time I still think even with the living wage it as got to take into account the work and responsibility involved in the job. I can't no matter how much people dislike it consider that someone who hardly does anything and as hardly any responsibility should be paid the same wage say as a fireman who puts his life on the line every day.
I apologise for the delay but having responded to your reply it doesn't seem to have gotten through, if it does get through at some point then I apologise for repeating myself.
I agree in a way with what you say but at the same time I think as well as the employer and government working hand in hand we have also got to play our part in improving the economy.
As I've said I'm Scouse and in Liverpool you either support Liverpool like me or Everton, you wouldn't dream of supporting any other team. We even talk of being from the RED or BLUE half of Liverpool. The point is there was a time when people were the same about Britain in the sense they wouldn't even consider buying foreign if they could buy British. We need to boycott companies that move their manufacturing, call centres and so on abroad making it not profitable for them to do so.
I know it is a bit unrealistic because not everyone would do it or be able to afford to do it but it as just about as much chance of working as most other ideas.
Britain doesn't make anything anymore due to this AND the last government giving away major manufacturing contracts to overseas firms.They even give away major defense contracts and I thought that could never happen but it has. The vast majority of the new aircraft carriers are not being built in Britain. This and the last lot also allow overseas firms buy up and strip the few companies that we have left that do actually manufacture, leaving us reliant on the 'finance' (not really producing anything but lots of numbers) industry, the service industry that generally pays peanuts and the very few factories that are left in this country.
CTG, they want to but they have to create attractive economic conditions to bring investment and for companies to start up here.
They want to, but actually they NEED to , and that point doesnt seem to have sunk in with our politicians.
The example of aircraft carriers being built overseas is a perfect example of political lunacy. On a par with David Cameron giving a gift to President Obama of a ping pong table , MADE IN CHINA.
I agree but as I said on another post part of the problem is the jobs that bring in the big wages are being given to people not from this country and so money is being extracted from the British economy from the ground up. It doesn't give a very good impression when the government are giving contracts to overseas firms as you say because it gives the impression they don't think British firms are good enough. Cameron is supposed to be an ambassador for this country and instead of taking the opportunity to advertise British manufacturing he promotes China and you can guarantee he didn't pay for the gift as with previous governments the tax payer will have paid for it.
CTG, my best friend is a lorry driver, worked for DHL as class 1 HGV for 30 years.
They made him redundant and he finds himself out of work for first time in his life.
He has an impeccable employment record , no sickies, no warnings , a model employee, but he is 48 years old.
If I was going to employ somebody it would be him.
He cannot find work, he has been for countless interviews and the employers all want that he take exams .
Every time, the jobs are going to Poles, its really quite scandalous. Here you have a perfect example of a hardworking model employee whose job is being taken time and again by Polish immigrants.