Changes to the Minimum Wage (2013)

Good news, everyone!  The UK government has announced that the minimum wage shall increase!  For over 21s it shall increased from £6.19 to £6.31, and for 18-20s from £4.98 to £5.03.  The minimum wage was introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour government in 1998, and has virtually put a stop to any exploitative employment which may have been seen previously, by ensuring all workers earn a decent rate.  It has been criticised for being too low, so, surely, this is good news?

Well, no.

These increases (1.9% for adults) are well below the current national inflation rate of 2.8%.  Sure, wages are increasing, but the cost of living is rising faster.  If we assume that poor, working people are not the government’s greatest priority (it’s been obvious for quite some time), this doesn’t even make economic sense.  The economy is not going to get moving unless we increase the spending power of the population as a whole, but the government seems set on boosting the wealth of businesses and the upper middle-class, over the misguided belief that making it easier for the wealthy to become even more wealthy will cause some of their wealth to ‘trickle down’.  These ideas were first majorly implemented by Prime Minister Thatcher and… well… The figures really speak for themselves.

Wealth has been getting progressively more concentrated since Thatcher’s Conservative government was elected in 1979.  Labour, to their shame, did little to reverse this concentration, and the current Conservative-led government is clearly, day by day, continuing these disastrous policies.  Look at that chart.  Very soon, if not already, we’re going to be back to Victorian levels of inequality – unless someone does something about it.  Cameron and Clegg certainly don’t seem particularly bothered.

3 thoughts on “Changes to the Minimum Wage (2013)

  1. The trouble with raising the highest rate of tax is these rich taxpayers all clear off to Switzerland or some other “tax haven”. Rod Stewart springs to mind, the UK Inland Revenue must have lost millions since he left in the 70s. I think it was the Coalition that raised the highest rate of tax to 50% from 40% as an emergency measure, and now as part of the Coalition agreement they have dropped this back to 45%. Any more than that and the millionaires will be leaving in droves, so no tax will be gained from them at all.
    However I agree with you about the Minimum Wage. If they want to get people back to work, they have to make it worth their while.

    • But if the government bows to the pressures of these few millionaires who threaten to go abroad, our whole economy is basically being held to ransom by a corporate elite – which brings us ever closer to the kind of corporatocracy we’re seeing in the US. I suppose there needs to be a greater concerted effort within the international community to clamp down on the use of tax havens.

      • It’s a matter of striking a balance; we don’t want taxes as low as they have in USA for example.

        Many of these rich people are entrepreneurs who generate wealth for the UK, and it’s not just a few.

        That’s capitalism (the worst system there is, apart from all the others). Suppose you won £1 million on the Lottery (which at the moment is tax free) and then lost 60%. You’d not be very happy.
        The Government’s Treasury look to gathering the most tax they can, and that certainly doesn’t come from the lower paid 50% of the population.

        If you want my opinion, the UK and the world’s present troubles stem from terrible management of the banks. They are evil…

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