May 14, 2019 7:41 am Written by

Can Raising The Minimum Wage Buy a New Government?

Politics in general always seems to be in some form of turmoil, or in an unsettled nature. It is the nature of politics.

And it is not just here in the UK, but across the globe. Just look to our Colonial friends across the Great Pond, even in America politics are in the news daily.

Either you like President Trump, or you don’t, and either you are with the Conservative Party, or you are not.

In the North of our precious island, the Labour Party seems to be more in favour, however, even they struggle.

Throw the Brexit in the mix, and you have a nation polarised as to where they stand, and who they stand with.

Political parties are trying to gain confidence and votes, especially now as our current Prime Minister may step-down soon if we can get an agreement on how to leave the EU. Which means a job is up for grabs, the job of Prime Minister.

So how can one political party get the better over the other parties to try and insure they will get the votes and be in power, there are many ways, but using the economy and wages is a strong one.

Current Minimum Wage and Living Wage

Currently the National Minimum Wage is set at £8.21 per hour for those workers age 25 and over. There is a sliding scale downwards for those workers that are of younger ages, and also apprentices.

As to if you can live on the National Minimum Wage, can depend on many factors, such as what part of the country you live in, the number of hours you work, and your expenses, but the majority of people would struggle on just this wage.

The “Living Wage” here in the UK is different than the minimum wage employers must pay, and is slightly higher, as it is currently calculated at £10.55 for London, and £9.00 elsewhere in the country.

Obviously with the cost of living be so much more expensive in London, the Big Smoke attracts a higher wage/rate of pay.

Recently Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has proposed that the party will raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour, and include all workers, including those under the age of 18, who are currently being paid £4.35 an hour.

That is a hefty increase for the under 18’s.

And a generous increase for all, but it doesn’t come without questions and implications.

The LPC or Low Pay Commission, are who advise the government on what the minimum wage should be, in addition to all the various wages for those under age 25, age 18, and apprentices.

They have stated why there are different rates of pay for younger workers is due to “evidence that younger workers are more at risk of being priced out of jobs than older workers, with worse consequences if they end up unemployed.

Mr. Corbyn has stated, “You don’t get a discount at the shops for being under 18.”

“But if the person serving you on the other side of the counter is young, they could be on half the wage of their colleagues.”

“It’s time to end this discrimination. Young people’s work should be properly valued, not exploited by employers to cut their wage bill. If they’re doing the job, pay them the wage – the real living wage.”

Offering young workers, who may only be working part-time a higher wage is a good gesture, and to raise the minimum wage for all workers to £10 an hour is nice as well, but we need to consider the cost; who is going to pay for this increase?

Employers and businesses have to pay the wage, so in turn they may raise prices to cover this additional and increased expense. Which in turn trickles down to all of us in the form of higher prices for goods and services, thus eating up any increase in wage we may have received.

You also have to look at the reasoning why the “youth rate” is lower to begin with. If an employer has to pay the same rate to someone age 30 with experience as to someone who is age 18 and no experience, there is no incentive to hire the younger worker.

As an employer you have to pay the same rate, why not hire someone with experience.

This is not to agree or disagree with the proposal, or take political sides, however, raising the minimum wage for younger and even all workers, is a complex task, and one that needs to be carefully reviewed.

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