What’s So Fucking Great About The Minimum Wage?

minimum-wageA minimum wage which condemns people to poverty is an insult to the millions of people who often do the hardest forms of work.  Yet this pittance of just £6.31 an hour – or less for those under 21 – is increasingly seen as some kind of Holy Grail by politicians from all three main parties.

Both Iain Duncan Smith and Liam Byrne talk of gaining a minimum wage job as if this will transform the lives of those in poverty, showering riches, opportunity and joy upon them as they become decent, moral, hard-working wage slaves.   In reality most minimum wage work is temporary, has little or no prospects and is supplemented by and often punctuated by benefit payments.

But worse than this, whilst people are marginally better off on minimum wage than on out of work benefits – despite government lies to the contrary – it still isn’t enough to meet the most basic costs of living.  In Leeds, the bottom end rent for a private sector three bedroom flat is around £150 a week.  A full time job on minimum wage pays just a few pounds over £200 a week.  Whilst a family would still receive Housing Benefits and Tax Credits, even this barely provides an income that will provide for food, bills and other essentials after housing costs.

The so called Living Wage, currently being trumpeted by Ed Miliband, is barely any better.  In London a full time job (37 hrs per week) on the Living Wage would leave a take home pay of just under £270 a week.  A recently announced affordable housing project, based in Stratford and claiming to be for the low paid, is set to charge £323 a week for just a two bedroom flat.  The ‘Living Wage’ isn’t even enough to pay an ‘Affordable Rent’.  And try telling a bank manager you want a mortgage when you are paid just over £8 an hour.

The minimum wage sets a government approved standard of poverty that grasping employers are only too happy to endorse.  As rises in the minimum wage have failed to keep up with inflation, this has meant the lowest paid steadily receiving less and less.  Last year George Osborne froze the minimum wage for young people at a disgraceful £4.98 an hour.  There have been calls within the Tory Party to cut the minimum wage even further or to exclude certain groups such as disabled people or the young.

Neither government or bosses should set wages, workers should.  It is no accident that during the 60s and even 70s, when Trade Unions were at their most militant, working class wages were at an all time high.  Lying Tory revisionists would claim the 70s were a desperate time and these unions had to be reigned in and in many cases smashed.  The truth is for most workers they’d never had it so good.

In the absence of a strong trade union movement the minimum wage is now the only protection against both gross exploitation and in work poverty – and it fails at both.   This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight tooth and nail to keep it.   In the context of ever increasing benefit conditionality, to lose the minimum wage would be a disaster as claimants could be compelled to take any job, no matter how low the pay.  With trade unionism almost dead in most low paid sectors, whatever scant compromises have been won need to be maintained as the benefits system disintegrates.

But if we are forced to fight to keep it then we should do so with no illusions.  A government set minimum wage, which has never risen above poverty pay, is a failure of the left, not a success story.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

167 responses to “What’s So Fucking Great About The Minimum Wage?

  1. This is a Britain set for the 21st century, not as you may think the19th.

  2. A government set poverty minimum wage whether it comes from left, right or centre is never a good thing. But as long as the private sector can keep pushing rents and therefore inflation up and keep wages down, that is even a better reason for them to reduce benefits – after all benefits should not pay more than work.

    Funny how the political or union class never have to go on strike to see their extortionate incomes increased!

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  5. I remember when the minimum wage was introduced my ex was set against it. At the time he said something that was prophetic, that a minimum wage would become the de facto wage. This is indeed the case, he was right all along, as regardless of skills, qualifications or experience the minimum wage is all there is to offer. It’s so low that with the best will in the world it’s impossible for anyone, even the most frugal to have nothing but bare survival on it.
    The minimum wage may have been introduced for the best possible reasons but it was set too low to begin with, & now it’s become a trap.

    • Could not agree more Kitty, There was a job advertized 2wks ago ,for qualified joiners,own vehicle,own tools,CSCS card holder,£50per shift.I was earning that kind of money in the early 80s,thats 30 fuckin years ago.

      • Assuming the shifts are 8 hours – £50 divided by 8 = £6.25, a mere 6p above the current minimum wage, puts it itto perspective.

    • its already been said the minimum wage is way below what the poverty line should be set at it, was suggested the minimum should be just under £7.50p/h

  6. And there are some lunatics who think the minimum wage should be scrapped because they want to pay people £2 an hour or something.

    Sometimes I think: Sod it, let these fascists have the world they want – because they won’t like it when they get it, I tell you. They’ll be total breakdown in society.

  7. angelofthenorth

    I am not disagreeing in general only saying in leeds I’ve seen q cheap private lets in grotty areas for less than 150 quid

    • was based on the LHA rate for central Leeds, agree you can get cheaper, still don’t leave much out of a minimum wage though.

    • I once remember asking a fellow anarchist who worked for a housing association how ‘affordable rents’ are decided, as I have always considered that so called affordable rents are always far higher than what I would consider affordable. (I have been a housing association tenant for 23 years). His reply was interesting. Evidently ‘affordable’ rents are decided seemingly out of context by such worthies as barristers, (earning around £300 and hour!) that housing associations like to have as co-opted members of their boards. Anyone on that kind of income is going to have a completely different (some would say distorted) view of what is affordable than say, the usually lowly paid tenant who actually pays the rent.

      I remember a debate in the mid 90s here in Wales about rent levels, (when as an average at a relative level, rents were a lot more affordable in the social sector). On the one hand Shelter Cymru was recommending that rents be no more than 25% of incomes, whilst the Welsh Tenants Federation was adamant that rents be no more than 15% of incomes.

      At that time the housing association I rented my home from was quite unique in Wales as it was the only tenant controlled housing association, though later on through an unholy alliance of the housing professionals working for the HA and the then Welsh Office Section 17 appointees, (who were present due to an oversight in the rules that resulted in the inability of removing a chairperson that brought the HA into disrepute) managed to persuade a tenant shareholder majority to vote for what was laughingly called a ‘merger’ with a more Thatcherite focussed HA down the road, totally ignoring other possible options, such as ‘management only’ or just retaining the status quo.

      What added insult to injury to those of us on the Management Committee, all of us tenants, was that we were prevented from discussing the issue at all with the generality of tenants, as the Section 17 appointees implemented a confidentiality clause that effectively gagged us.

      My own personal preference at the time was the management only option, which though would have involved short to medium term difficulties, and the removal of state grants, would have left the association in complete control of it’s own destiny and in the hands of tenants, not a band of housing professionals who wasted no time in reducing tenant involvement to a merely token level, and under the guise of avoiding the theoretical possibility of liability for Corporation Taxes, reducing tenant influence even further by becoming a housing charity.

      Since the ‘merger’, the housing association has undertaken a programme of building itself swish new office buildings and putting on airs and graces by revamping it’s corporate identity every few years, all at a cost to tenants, as anyone who knows anything about housing associations will know that the only regular money coming in is from rents. I have no argument with frontline staff being paid decently, but I do question the numbers and levels of management there are, and fail completely to understand why CEOs are appointed and paid as much as they are when seemingly they are about as much use as a fairy on a Christmas tree. Though is is tenants who overwhelmingly finance housing associations, it is ultimately politicians who scare HAs the most. It’s almost become a commonplace for me now that when I contact my HA about anything I copy in my local Welsh Assembly Members as this is often the only way I will receive a prompt response. HAs have also shown themselves to be willing partners in the poverty industry. They have shown themselves willing to collude with government and be prepared to evict tenants from their homes if due to the Bedroom Tax tenants are unable to pay their rent. If HA professionals had any sense of ethics or morality at all they would be advocating a policy of non-cooperation with government instead of cosying up even further.

  8. Our tax and benefits system is complex. It has been designed that way to hide the tragic truth. The only people who benefit from the minimum wage are the employers, the landlords and the government. The recipients who receive £6.19 per hour are actually paying 80% of every pound earned over the applicaple amount before the government begins to apply housing benefit. Millionaires pretend they have it hard having to pay 40% tax. Try living on minimum wage and paying 80% tax on housing benefit. We really are living in sad times.

  9. So anyone on NMW has to move into a shithole? Usually, it’s damp enough to wreck your health, has dangerous wiring, a ramped-up leccy meter and neighbours from hell.

    • something survived...

      Great for your health – as soon as you get sick, how do you hold down the mcjob? then you lose your home for being evicted for losing the job and/or for claiming benefits.

  10. I said at the time minimum wage was introduced it was a bad thing apart from the few people to benefit Now any job that may have paid above minimum wage when there advertised the companies are paying minimum wage were as before they would have paid above minimum wage now they are paying minimum wage and saving themselves money

    Before a was on 720 a hour now i have to apply for jobs on minimum wage and to travel 90 minutes from my house using public transport and supposed to be grateful for that pittance and they have a cheek to say here how about this job 30 hours a week

  11. As far as politicians are concerned, if someone is on the minimum wage they are living the life of Riley! The new Claimant Commitments for Universal Credit stress that the claimant will “look for and take any work I’m able to do, that:
    pays £6.19 an hour or more
    is within 90 minutes’ travel from my home”

    What if someone lives near a train station? They have to apply for every job an adviser tells them to apply for through Universal Jobmatch, so what if they are told to apply for a job offered by a Work Programme subcontractor 90 minutes away which they get – no expenses like MPs!

  12. Landless Peasant

    The Minimum Wage is a bad joke. I was earning £5 p/h basic wage for semi-skilled work in 1989/90 (plus bonuses, etc). In this day & age you need to be seeing at least £300 in your hand for a 40 hour week, so the Min. Wage needs to be about £9 or £10 p/h. Working for little over £6 p/h (if you’re one of the ‘lucky’ ones) when it might cost £20 p/w or more in bus/train fares, is unfeasible and unreasonable. By the time you’ve paid your income tax and N.I. and deducted travel costs, it’s a rather pointless and depressing exercise. And all that regardless of a). what fucking jobs? and b). I don’t have the level of health, fitness and well-being that I had 25 years ago (plus several other assorted barriers to unemployment…). As for working for my Dole; fuck off, shoot me.

  13. A statutory minimum wage makes an immoral wage a legitimate wage. The next move will be regional calibrated sub-minimum wage.

    Penury U.K. how did it ever come to this – socialist treachery and hatred of the working class.

  14. I had to get an off peak travel card the other day. It cost me over £10. That’s about £50 a week if I needed to get into London to work. My rent is £800. It’s a poky little one bedroom place with mould. Yes I can claim tax credits and even housing benefit too. But they leave you with about a fiver more than jsa. Then you need to take out the £50 a week travel. If you do your sums, any idiot can see it isn’t viable. They do not take travel in to consideration at all in their calculations (the better off one, which are so wrong as to be laughable).

    There are many office jobs in London on minimum wage. Asking for lots of experience and qualifications. It’s a fallacy that if you are well educated that the world is your oyster. Exploitation is rife. It is not menial work that pays a pittance, in fact many labourers and cleaners get paid substantially more than many office workers some who are in central London. Many people are not able to even get one of them. Me for instance. I am educated, experienced and qualified yet I can’t get one. If I did my nightmare of poverty would only just be beginning.

    • They know we know but they want to get us to collude in the charade and sign something saying we agree to unrealistic conditions – using the argument that if we argue with the ‘commitment’, we don’t really want a job and are ‘time-wasting’ …

  15. An employer can avoid paying minimum wage if his employees sleep on the working premises. …the sleeping area can be be ‘adequate’ too..

    • Employees sleeping areas – welcome to the workhouse don’t give them ideas bobchewie.

      • ‘@shrugs too late, when i found that out i saw pictures of workers in chinese factories sleeping on rush mats..doing 18 hour shifts..guess what? those chinese factories are coming here..with approcal from emma harrison, grayling and the scumbag club

  16. UniversalPoverty

    I had been out of work for nearly a year and when i finally did find a minimum wage job i have struggled ever since and the twats wouldent even give me a HB and CTB run what a shambles im begining to think no one ever gets the run on infact i would be intrested to see a FOI to see how many actually do get this in the country when they get back into work.

  17. That’s right. Most people think NMW is per hour but it is not. It is averaged out. I know this from personal experience when I had a dispute with an employer over this, and went to the helpline and eventually spoke to the top person. About 10 years ago, as a relief warden, I was only getting about £12 per sleep-in plus £2 per hour for being on call, plus a few other hours daytime at rate over NMW. While the sleep-ins hours were discounted, the money paid for it was not, and used to average out the other hours! In the end I found out from the helpline that my employer could actually pay me less! So I was advised not to let on to them what I knew.

  18. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15151877

    Minimum wage should be scrapped, says IEA’s Littlewood

    Up to 200,000 care workers are earning less than the minimum wage, according to an investigation by the Panorama programme.
    They say it is because employers are using loopholes and bending the rules to avoid paying their workers the minimum £6.08 an hour.
    Mark Littlewood from the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank says the minimum wage should be scrapped altogether because it prices young and inexperienced people out of work.

  19. http://www.knightfrankblog.com/ruralbulletin/news-headlines/agricultural-wages-board-scrapped/

    Agricultural Wages Board scrapped

    The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) will cease to exist from 1 October 2013 after MPs finally voted to scrap it earlier this week (16 April).
    Opponents of the move such as Unite, the union representing farmworkers, claim it could cost the rural economy £260m.
    However, organisations representing farmers and landowners argue that the AWB is no longer necessary given that the UK now has a national minimum wage and other legislation to protect workers’ rights.
    Unite has said it may take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights.

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  21. Also in USA
    http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/full-time-wages-should-not-mean/

    Costco’s CEO Craig Jelinik recently called for that same increase in the federal minimum wage, as this Huffington Post article points out, quoting Jelinik:

    ‘At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.’ Costco is known for paying its workers wages that are generally above average for the retail industry. The average Costco worker made about $45,000 in 2011, according to Fortune. That’s compared to an average of about $17,486 per year for a worker at comparable Walmart-owned Sam’s Club.

    PRODUCTIVITY thats us.. human labour units ..increasing productivity..producing junk that goes into landfill..houses built on waste tips..

  22. Wages are not the problem, the problem is inflation driven by the greedy rich. You could double minimum wage tomorrow and corporations driven by shareholder profit taking will just drive inflation to a proportionate level and maintain the wage slavery they employ to maintain productivity and keep the working class working.

    • @whatever its all about productivity ant it?
      The unemployed may be characterised by a much lower wage expectations than the employees and they are prone to more flexible working conditions, but they lack competence and are often characterised by lower productivity.
      This analysis explains on the one hand, why a higher unemployment may brake wages but also, on the other hand, why wages can grow even if there exists unemployment.

      Impact on other variables
      Higher wages mean higher income in most families; thus their consumption will usually grow as well.
      Total consumption will depend on consumption attitudes of the other families, in particular of whose income heavily relies on dividends. Immigrants may save part of their income to send remittances home.
      If total consumption grow, this will boost sales throughout the industries, increasing productivity. This, in turn, is conducive to a further growth in wages.

      http://www.economicswebinstitute.org/glossary/wages.htm

  23. 27 years ago,aged 43, i was working for £2.40 an hour…part time for 25 hours per week.that was on a government scheme so minimum wage. so in all those years ,over a quarter of a century,its only gone up by £3.79 AN HOUR???? (=1 n half times as much if ive done my sums right). thats disgusting

  24. Recent murmurings (‘messages’) about “People who restrict their search to (a usual or a particular field) and try to earn £x/specific amount – “As though they have the right to do this” etc. … ” are becoming clearer. I’m not, supposedly, thought to be one of “those people” (or else I am. it’s confusing – “they” could be me) – l wonder if “they” hear about my shortcomings at their appointments … The ‘advice’ coming across, at one remove, is basically Not to be “Like Them”. Every fortnight, it’s important for me to consider my position relative to what “they” are not doing/should be doing … (in the form of a short Kafkaesque role-play).

    What kind of madness is this? There are increasing murmurs that, “A minimum wage job would be better than no job” and “Universal Doodah covers every eventuality & is = to enough”. Money can’t buy this kind of ‘advice’ (and it’s only ever been getting people to Stop Making the Place Look Untidy, only now it’s at any cost). Personal Advisers may soon have to start arranging their ‘advice sessions’ in badly-lit alleyways, where they could wear dark raincoats with many hidden pockets and perhaps a trilby. That way, they would be all the more convincing when they do their “Just between you and me, don’t tell anyone I’m telling you this, but… ” conspiratorially-whispering-in-an-undertone routine.

  25. excuse me Bobchewie…i think you’ve got something wrong there….you say…. they lack competence and are often characterised by lower productivity.,,,,,,,,,,why do you say that? what proof do you have that ALL unemployed people lack competence? and lower productivity? you seem to be labouring under some illusion that ALL unemployed people are in that position because they lost their jobs through those two or one of those two things. not so. most these days are highly skilled people. some made redundant because most of our large firms have either gone under or gone abroad.thanks to the INCOMPETENCE of our bankers aided by our government. others are graduates, loads of qualifications but untested in the workplace. or school leavers not getting the chance to show what they can do. yes some are unskilled workers but it doesn’t mean they are incompetent etc.only a very few can be classed as incompetent or not productive enough. please stop labeling ALL unemployed people under 1 umbrella label.

    • @hugosmum i never said it..it was a quote..

      • bobchewie. i apologise. i didn’t realise as it doesn’t give an inkling that its a quote. just a link. and it doesn’t do to click on links my tutor told me.can lead to your PC acquiring nasty gremlins that mess your puter up. among other things:P. lol.

        • @hugosmum its ok i often post stuff i dont agree with to add contrast or show odd views thinking..normally i put such things in quotes..
          some links are ok you can get warnings set up in case..i had friend who was convince watching youtube videos would blow her pc up..

          • ermm i did actually say that about links with tongue in cheek…… but thanks for the explanation. sometimes i find some posts rather confusing…. not the subject.the wording. when that happens i usually put it down to mi age. lol…

            • @hugosmum its ok ..i found my way round using pc’s just by having one or two and being curious ..the what if i do that stuff..never taught..so much cobblers told to people about puters enough to worry folk.
              btw how is hugo? 🙂

  26. @hogosmum..i didnt say that.it was a copy and paste from some ‘glossary of terms i found..obviously i dont agree with it..
    ask chibipaul what my views are on yoyo aspirations….

    • thing is how do you tell a millionaire on a bus? you dont cos they all use cars. whats the minimum you should have in your bank b4 they say you shud be thinking of giving back what you dont need?everyone will say they do need it. costs of food/fuel are going up for all and they’ve got their 4/5 up to 10/11 bedroom houses to heat. does this include those MP’s that are over pension age? does it include PMs cronies who are over that age? bankers?? etc? are the government members going to give up their £400 meal allowances? their 2nd homes? expenses?

      • @hugosmum WHAT ABOUT MAXIMUM WAGE

        • lol. expand your question please? lol……..too late at night for guessing games…….

          • @hogosmum ok why is it that poorest people seem to be capped but the wealthiest seem to have no limits imposed on them..you can argue top rate of taxation and corps tax but they have ways to weedle their way around that..
            1 looking too poor on paper to pay tax 2 looking wealthy enough to attract shareholders

            • well the simple answer is,,,,,,,, those millionaires in power arent daft enough to cap their own incomes are they?> but i do think that there should be something put in place whereby those with massive bank accounts should be 1. stopped from pushing so much of their wealth abroad. 2, made to pay the proper rates of tax and pay back any they should have paid over the years but didn’t.(including big businesses)3. big businesses only allowed to take so much of their profits. rest to be given back to the consumers..especially fuel companies. telephone companies etc.4, scrap the TV licence. we only get crap on the things anyway. and 5..yes, anything above a certain amount of income/interest etc should be put into some central pot and distributed to deserving causes. not bloody gyms and keep fit places.or sports arenas/facilities. like the lottery does mostly but those charities that are hanging on by a thread who help cancer patients, those who are destitute.homeless etc. thats enough for now. could go on though.lol.

              • @hugosmum sure but lets not forget that wealth buys you influence and power ie law..when did poor people have that much infuence?

              • @hugosmum sadly charities have become like the corporates now..
                eg sue ryder putting in bids for chunks of NHS..
                then of course you have the disease of sponsorship..its bloody everywhere olivier awards sponsored by mastercard, weather reports sponsored by….on and on it goes

            • and the para-Olympics sponsored by ATOS that was as sick it could get.

              wealth should not be allowed to buy the sort of influence that puts people in dire need,. losing their homes, their ability to feed themselves, run their lives as they need to run them with their own independence without having to get to the stages some have got to where its all got too much for them and they’ve either died as a result of the stress or they’ve committed suicide. money should not put people like those causing these problems, in power over so many for them to use that power to bring people to their knees. we have only one life, we are supposed to do the best we can with it. its their actions and the banks that have reduced Britain to what it is now. a shell. with practically no industry left. either gone bankrupt or removed overseas. it will take years to recover from all this and stopping peoples benefits will not get the economy moving. spending will. new businesses will.

              sorry,. i am going to have leave this now. its past midnight and i need my bed. little old ladies need their sleep ya know.lol
              night everybody. thanks for the discussion. and for those who needed advice etc. hope it helped and you/your friend gets the decision reversed. have a good night all.

            • World’s richest woman says poor should have less fun, work harder.

              Just in case you were beginning to think rich people were deeply misunderstood and that they feel the pain of those who are less fortunate, here’s the world’s wealthiest woman, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, with some helpful advice.

              “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain,” she said in a magazine piece. “Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.”

              Yeah, let them eat cake.

              Rinehart made her money the old-fashioned way: She inherited it. Her family iron ore prospecting fortune of $30.1 billion makes her Australia’s wealthiest person and the richest woman on the planet.

              “There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire,” she said by way of encouragement.

              “Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”

              Boom. Almost too easy.

              Why are people poor? Rinehart blamed what she described as “socialist,” anti-business government policies, and urged Australian officials to lower the minimum wage and cut taxes.

              “The millionaires and billionaires who choose to invest in Australia are actually those who most help the poor and our young,” she said. “This secret needs to be spread widely.”

              And now it’s out there.

              Thank you, rich people. We’re not worthy.”

              http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/30/business/la-fi-mo-richest-woman-20120830

              There’s only one way to deal with these people …

              • @R33 yeah ive read her shit before…its the hamster wheel idea..dangle the carrot of wealth in front of someone and make them run the wheell thinking they will get some whilst keeping them trapped on the wheel..they aint allowed to join the exclusive club..
                heres another well worn cliche//THE POLITICS OF ENVY..this is to suggest that all lefty wefty want to be gilionaires and secretly are envious of toffs ..but act like they dont care for them much so its all jealousy see?

                heres the cotton pickin thing though..that carrot dangling crap about ”if you work hard one day you will be a gazilionaire like him” sounds very much like er THE POLITICS OF ENVY…

            • If hard work was so fucking wonderful, the rich would keep it all for themselves and wouldn’t let us have any.

              • @R33 ive heard that one before, you should copyright that and sell it and become a triple gazzallionaire..lol! i am already thinking of copyrighting language and am trying to own all the shares in the word ‘THE’…so writing, printing speaking broadcasting THE i will get paid..

            • r33… yeah rape the earth …you know it makes sense!

            • @ bobchewie

              Thanks for the idea. When I become a gazillionaire, I will hire all the regulars that post here to work at my mansion on my sprawling estate. Bobchewie I will make you head butler to reward you for the idea.

  27. Norway has no minimum wage but strong unions and there, as I understand it, most workers get a decent wage.

    • @John Scovell but norway has a location problem..if it moved south the results would be different also the weather would be different. i think there was an impact assessment on this WHAT IF NORWAY WAS SOMEWHERE ELSE it was called..

  28. Cameron is appealing to millionaire pensioners to not claim for heating, travel and tv licensing, while Nick clegg is trying to make himself look good and is rightfully calling for millionaire pensioners to be means tested, because he says” it’s only right that they should make SACRAFICES and give up benefits”. How can it be a sacrifice to a millionaire for gods sake?

    The only sacrafices the rich have given up is the poor who have been sacrificed at the altar of welfare reform , bedroom tax and told to work for nothing for their tax loophole charities.

  29. My son was working part-time at one stage when he lived with me and still had to contribute £23 towards my rent and £8 towards poll tax out of his meagre wage and they are worried about millionaires forfeiting their heating and travelling allowances. When they claw it back they should use it to put an end to the bedroom tax.

    • Apparently it’s only going to be “voluntary” for millionaire pensioners to return their state pensions. Does anyone seriously believe that’ll happen?
      Far simpler not to pay millionaries a pension at all, after all it’s merely small change to them.

      • To add to the above & to put it in perspective why should old crocks like Mick Jagger & Paul McCartney (both pensionable age) receive state pensions & free bus passes when the’re not exactly short of a bob or two & have spent most of their careers avoiding paying tax?

        • @kittycat someone i know saw roger daltrey on a train the other day..no i wont do the who are you gag..

        • from my experience those pensioners like the one i mentioned last night. who are living off the proceeds from the sale of their homes, (in what used to be called 3rd part accommodation..i,.e own flat with central lounges for communal gatherings etc in a block or complex or in nursing homes) already resent those on benefits because they are having to use what they strived for all the years they worked. actually makes me laugh because when asked what did they save for? or buy a house for?…they tell you…for our old age so we dont have to worry, then resent spending it on their old age when the time comes. (dunno if that comes in the double standards category or not).
          must admit though those who have more than enough to live on #(excluding those who need to use their savings etc to pay for their care and the thresh-hold for savings should be raised to accommodate that eventuality anyway. 16.000 is not enough as ppl live so much longer,) those with more than enough for that, who dont need extra benefits should not get them as a given . would surely help the economy if they didn’t get them.if only a little. every little helps after all. (i do know though that what certain ones think of as a struggle to live would be luxury for those on benefits or low wages. a relative of mine,a business man refuses to cut his coat according to his cloth but feels hes hard done by if he cant go on his numerous holidays now hes retired, whereas me and mine haven’t had a holiday in years.
          (now lost the gist of what i was saying thanks to my sis phoning twice,then texting me then my son phoning just now. she refuses to even use her brain on such things then wonders why her memory is so bad. ) anyway will leave it there. sorry i have to go. she is on her way here (to do my box in with trivialities) so i best get done what i need to get doneets here. (can feel a headache coming on at the thought.lol)

  30. or to help those who are seriously ill or disabled who have had their money reduced or stopped

  31. Anyone with any advice on this friend has been refused ESA & JSA… (waiting for hip replacement) Council asking for £30 a week Council tax and has nothing, he is now that desperate he says let them put me in prison!

    • Karl…tell him he must appeal the decision re ESA. to go to a law centre. (type in law centres whichever comes up ring them and ask for one near you or that deals with welfare rights for your area. if none, find out about unemployed workers centres or welfare rights groups. or if all else fails CAB. he needs professional help.even a lawyer may help. though nit sure if he would now get legal aid but worth trying. he can still i think get an half hours free consultation from a solicitor…..its against his human rights to be left with no money at all. and he needs to get to see someone asap.

  32. At last a subject close to home! I would like to add that the UJ site is littered with meaningless part time temporary jobs, of no use to anyone but a secondary meager income. Surely with minimum wage earners this has forced more people to become reliant on in work benefits, totally counter productive against the DWP’s efforts to eradicate benefits altogether. I don’t get it?

    • Nobody can get a full time job anymore so the magical 30 hours a week to qualify for WTC’s is unachievable! Poverty with no alternative!

  33. maybe yur expected to get 2 part time jobs???? just a thought

    • Tried that one but getting two part time jobs where the hours don’t overlap is nigh on impossible!

    • There are now on average 3 people doing the same job on part time hours as 1 used to do on full time hours, this is the governments bragging rights to creating over 1 million jobs, there is just the same amount of hours worked and productivity, all this excersize does is manipulate jobless figures, the Tories love it!

      • i understand alright, all this claptrap about ppl not wanting work really does my box in. ive known people desperate for work back in the 70s, 80s then 90s. my hubby had to go to London to find work/ which he did. leaving me with a 6 month old baby and 3 year old toddler. he went on a dss scheme where they paid for a bedsit for him and 3 weekly travel warrant. running 2 homes on the same wages got too much for me when my washer went awry creating a massive electric bill i couldn’t pay. i shut the house for a year. went to stay at mums with the kids. still paid rent on it and made sure we got no burst pipes in winter etc. used the travel warrant for me n the kids every 3 weeks to go stay in their dads bedsit for 3 weeks. hard work traveling on a train for 4 hours with an inquisitive toddler and grumpy baby, plus all their trappings. plus coping in a bedsit with kitchen/ but shared bathroom and loo.but it had its good side too. but after 2 years of us looking for a home down there,and getting nowhere fast, the eldest needing to be settled at home prior to starting school. i opened the house up and he finished the 2 years up that he was allowed on the scheme and came home. plenty of jobs but no houses. you see. same story in all the areas with jobs. so yes i do understand and of course even London is having problems too this time.

  34. Thanks Hugosmum70 I will pass it on…..Disgusting though what is happening and so many people are blind to it!

    • i agree, and its ruining friendships and splitting families too. i nearly lost a good friend because she is young (just over half my age) and as a lot are, thinks she knows more than she does. not a poor family i might add, so brought up to a modicum of nice things, no money worries on the part of hr parents etc.we have overcome that by finding subjects that we DO agree on and im now detecting a slight shift towards my way of thinking….as an ex nurse who left nursing some 40 years ago so no mod cons then for us, then my last job in welfare rights advice, Ive seen all sorts of life problems including first hand experience myself over the years. i have always tried to stand up for those being trod on by bureaucracy or just life situations that were unfair. never have i known such evil from those in power since the war and i was only a baby /toddler then.but have grown up with the tales.

  35. Phoenix,,, i can appreciate that. only so many hours in a day eh? not sure those in power know that though. and it also seems we aren’t supposed to have any leisure or pleasure in life now. especially if your on benefits.

  36. I.T. TRIUMPH No 1…
    The online system for claiming disability benefits and overseas pensions, always a nightmare, is now even worse and works on fewer computers.

    I.T. TRIUMPH No 2…
    The universal credit is hit by more problems at Work and Pensions – which bodes ill for the full “digital by default” launch in 2017.

    BENEFITS TRAP
    Why the hated bedroom tax is going to be so expensive for tenants on housing benefit who have children over 18 who still live at home.

    PERFORMANCE ANXIETY
    How a minister and lobbyists for Work Programme contractors set out to massage pisspoor results of the failing welfare-to-work initiative.

    More top stories in the latest issue (needs to find out all this stuff)

    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=hp_sauce&

  37. Eric Greenwood

    It wouldnt be so bad if there were any jobs out there, but No jobs, they could all have wages of £50 a hour but if there are no jobs it doesnt matter how much the wage is

  38. People need to see that the whole system is wrong. People on low wages need benefits to survive. This means that they are not been paid enough or the prices are to high.

    Companies who employ these low paid benefit reliant people make profits and their top people seem to get paid obscene salaries. Charities that rely on volunteers in the shops are the worst. Their CEO’s all seem to get huge salaries these days.

    Add on to that the sick profits utilities companies are making, smacking of overcharging, the same low paid in benefits people, and you can see a pattern emerging.

    If a person needs to claim benefits to live then that company that employs them needs to have more of its profits taken away to pay for it. Landlords need to be checked for excessive rents and house prices need to have their bubble popped.

    I am not on about everyone been rich, I know I am not, but I know what level of income I need not to be worried, and I know I am far short of that and penny pinching whilst still on benefits. We don;t need a minimum wage, we need a Living Standard. A standard of income that pays what you need for your house, rented or bought, it is roughly the same when you look into it.. if house prices were sensible and Landlords were not greedy due to the broken benefits system. People need access to good nutrition, and I am not on about the sickening cheap junk food that is poisoning people.

    People do not want or need much, just to be treated with respect and paid enough to live. At the moment we just have a culture of fear and suppression. Until that is fixed then we won’t get any better. But with the people at the helm we have now nothing will get done, and I do not see anything happening soon to change that.

  39. Lets be honest here. The minimum wage is, with massive subsidies, just another scheme to keep ‘unemployment’ figures down.
    Imagine what the true unemployment number would be with out all the schemes?
    Very frightening. I don’t think the public realize, and would not be able to cope with the truth.

  40. The Internet Is Making Us Poor

    “Everyone knows the story of how robots replaced humans on the factory floor. But in the broader sweep of automation versus labor, a trend with far greater significance for the middle class—in rich countries, at any rate—has been relatively overlooked: the replacement of knowledge workers with software.

    Like farming and factory work before it, the labors of the mind are being colonized by devices and systems. In the early 1800′s, nine out of ten Americans worked in agriculture—now it’s around 2%. At its peak, about a third of the US population was employed in manufacturing—now it’s less than 10%. How many decades until the figures are similar for the information-processing tasks that typify rich countries’ post-industrial economies?

    Web pioneer and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen describes this process as “software is eating the world.” As he wrote in an editorial (paywall) for the Wall Street Journal, “More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense.”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-internet-is-making-us-poor-2013-3

  41. Smiley is eating the page, is there a smiley bottom left on this page?

  42. Automation, new software technologies etc, a reason for us not to have a capitalist system that relies on peoples labour for them to be able to live and be provided for.
    The world is already overproducing manufactured goods, electrical/electronic goods have built in obsolence to try keep the workforce in jobs replacing parts etc.
    It was not long ago we had butter and beef mountains that were distributed to the unemployed before they went rancid.
    We need a new political and economic system (or even no economy) just producing and using resources for need not greed, without austerity though.

  43. The reason why wealthy pensioners should get the same benefits as less wealth off pensioners is because that is how a universal system works. If u start mean testing pensioner then where will it end? It won’t stop with wealthy pensioners not getting benefit and those who don’t get benefit will resent those who do get benefits so eventually all pensioners will get less. And that is the agenda behind the headlines

  44. John Scovell

    The welfare state was set up to aid the poor not the wealthy, benefits were only supposed to be universal in so much that all had access to it IF IN NEED – MILLIONAIRES ARE NOT IN NEED – NEITHER ARE PARENTS EARNING OVER 40K.

  45. Well giving all pensioners a free bus pass encourages them to reduce the use of the car and use buses thus benefiting the environment.
    It also removed any stigma in using bus pass.

  46. John scovell

    I doubt many millionaires are using buses more like chauffered limousines.
    How exactly will free bus passes keep monopolized bus companies afloat?
    It is not just bus passes, John Snow was on tv showing his reduced rail travel saving his company the cost of his trravel. HOW DARE THEY BE RESENTFUL? Resentment should come from those who need it and are having their benefits cut, due to rich pensioners having triple dips in the welfare pot.

    • @fawkes that will be that double standards they talk about, its starts with small things….then gets bigger..watch out for ”why should these idle workshy get free healthcare”

  47. When Maggie first got in within a few months she shut down the minium wage council and it appears that Cameron is could be about to do that for the young & disabled?. We the public have the power to send a very clear message to unelected Government this week on May 2nd No Votes for the Tories or any other parties? anyone on £6.19 ph cannot afford these unacceptable affordable rents that is in place today and this the main cause behind the £23Bns housing welfare bill but IDS would have us believe that its all down to the disabled & unemployed.

  48. Well, there are pensioners who u could say are neither rich nor really poor . What do other countries do?

  49. John Scovell we are not discussing the inbetweeners who are probably eligible for some benefits, we’re on about the millionaires, who have inheritances,a lifetime of well paid public service jobs and pensions to match, not to mention expenses from the public to pay for their homes and duck houses, businessmen with offshore bank accounts and company wives living on yachts to evade the tax on their husbands businesses that are in their names. The property magnate landlords who take most with their extortionate rents. The list is endless. Go pedal your argument to the blue rinse tory brigade, i’m sure they’ll be intereste in your pov.

  50. something survived...

    £2.50 an hour. That is what A—– gets.
    She is white, British citizen, born in and working in the UK. She works in a charity shop, in a normal paid job. Her colleagues get NMW. She’s over 21 so should get £6.19 p/h.

    Her employer says that because she is what she is, that is all she’s worth and the law lets them do that (it doesn’t). That she should be grateful.

    What has she done to be singled out for this special pay grade?

    She is learning-disabled.

  51. i earn £166 a week net for 26 hours of really hard manual work in my case the rate is an insult but i need to protect my savings so i carry on doing it cause if i stop working i wouldnt get JSA wish i hadnt bothered saving any money now when i was full time situation stinks

  52. Not read through al of the comments .. but I get the idea that the Labour introduced minimum wage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be?

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