Tuesday, 6 November 2012

THE LIVING WAGE – KILLING THE ECONOMY


6 NOV 2012 - My daily newspaper, The Guardian, today publishes several articles on THE LIVING WAGE, including a report that London Mayor Boris Johnson insists that his employees get at least the living wage - and that the mayor exhorts his old school chum (Eton School £20,000 a year) Prime Minister David Cameron to pay it to his minions. One or two spokespersons for the small business sector (SMEs) were weeping and lamenting on radio and TV that their members cannot afford to pay THE LIVING WAGE which will wreck the UK economy; until assured by all political parties that it is a purely voluntary code. Phew! Smiles all round. For a moment I thought you were serious.

So what is this major threat to national and global economic stability?

( Update 4 Nov 2013 - E-Letter to America - LET THEM EAT CAKE - While we are swapping woeful economic tales – a debate is “raging” in the UK (a handful of people are a bit concerned) about employers paying less than the Living Wage and thus being heavily subsidised by tax-dollars. This excellent article is actually all about your lot – the 47 million Yankees on Food Stamps – and the Living Wage. Surely The Free Markets dictate that if we persistently pay the great unwashed lower class skivvies less than they need to live, droves will die, they will become scarce – and be able to demand higher pay for cleaning our lavatories and making our hamburgers. What’s wrong with letting the markets decide?)

The voluntary code is to pay £8.55 an hour in London, and £7.45 provincially – an average of £8. For a 35 hour, 50 week year these unwashed servile low caste servants will cost us, through our voluntary charity and great generosity, a staggering £14,000 a year (less tax of course) each.  The Telegraph newspaper asks “Can a family live on £40,000 a year?” But they are of course referring to real British people, Conservative voters, not the one-bath-a-week, cheaply perfumed NOKPD* being considered here.

We can suppose these Living-Wage-Persons have families, as at least some of them have the energy to breed the next generation of lavatory and street cleaners; and that they feed themselves on processed, pre-digested, life-shortening snacks; and clothe themselves in truly awful stretch-nylon and Lycra shell-suits and trainers; and they probably rent dank little flats infested with cockroaches and rats; Oh! And have to commute to work – we can safely assume they don’t healthily cycle or walk to work. That will absorb most of their after-tax pay. But, it is odds on that they still smoke, drink beer, watch TV and find enough to play Bingo and The Lottery – when they should be saving the deposit for a house; like the Rt. Hon Iain  Duncan Smith MP did when he was a shelf-stacker at TESCO.

As we said yesterday; if these persons ARE paid a living wage, where will we find enough debt defaulters to harass imprison and sustain the vital international drug trade, enough teenagers to fill our brothels, enough graduates to bully into years of unpaid internships, and enough cowed servants to hover politely while we finish our champagne, caviar and witty conversations?

PM David Cameron takes a meagre £142,000 to live on. 10 times the living wage. (Plus accommodation, travel, staff, banquets – and he is of course a multi-millionaire by inheritance).

Mayor Boris Johnson gets £394,000. 28 times the living wage.

Senior civil servants take salaries between these two. Many NHS managers and local authority managers get £200,000. 14 times the living wage. And they all get large, guaranteed, inflation proofed pensions for another 20- 25 years or so of retirement; in all amounting to an average 30 times THE LIVING WAGE.


The average SME owner director gets about £250,000 a year. An average large company executive gets £500,000 and the average blue-collar /clerk pay is £30,000.  An average mechanic or tradesman  charges £70 an hour, a lawyer or accountant or doctor £120 to £300 an hour.

TELEGRAPH - For top company directors the average salary is almost £2.7 million, for train drivers, £41,196. For most of us, however, it is a lot less. What is life like in the squeezed middle for average earners, and do they feel valued for the work they do?


Reality: Paying less than the Living Wage is insane economics. Employees cannot pay their rent, buy food, buy healthcare, buy decent clothes, educate their children or simply enjoy being alive. They are trapped in a cycle of ever increasing debt - or a lifelong downward spiraling depression. Vile employers, a marginal step above 18th Century slavers, who pay less than the living wage, are parasites who dump the deficits and sickness they cause onto society. They undercut all honest and fair employers - sabotaging Free Market principles. We pay what they won't pay, via our tax dollars. They bully their workers and bugger their neighbours and slink home every night with the spoils of other people's work. These sociopaths should be arrested and fined for the full costs they impose on the rest of us - and jailed until they pay it all back. How dare anyone set up and run a business based on paying their team players, their work colleagues less than they need to live. If all employees could pay their bills, their mortgages, their credit cards then the world's customer base, the global markets, the global economy would explode with wealth, health and happiness. Post this message on every business premises where people are underpaid. 

* NOKPD – Not Our Kind of People, Darling.

3 comments:

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