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Eeternaloptimist
05 Jul 13 10:54
Joined:
Date Joined: 28 Jun 10
| Topic/replies: 38,236 | Blogger: Eeternaloptimist's blog
The UK is at risk of creating a two-tier labour market in which growing numbers of workers earn little more than the legal minimum, the founding chair of the government's Low Pay Commission has warned.

Professor Sir George Bain said that without new thinking on the minimum wage there was a risk the purpose of the commission would be perverted and it might even turn into a drag on wages.

Bain is returning to chair a review of how the minimum wage and the role of the commission that sets it might be strengthened. He says his expert panel, set up with the help of the respected Resolution Foundation thinktank, will consider options such as helping push up wages in certain sectors that can afford to pay more.

He said the cross-party support achieved by the commission was paradoxically one reason it needed a review.

"My back still bears the scars from introducing the minimum wage so I don't need reminding how controversial it was," Bain said. "But in a way the policy has been a victim of its own success. The wide support means the policy has settled down into a premature middle age, with little thinking about how it could do more to tackle low pay.

"When we began our work in 1997, we saw jobs being advertised at 100 hours a week for £1 an hour. That sort of low pay is gone. But with one in five workers still earning below the living wage it's time to reflect on whether the design of the minimum wage is right for the next 15 years."

The commission has been seen as one of the great policy successes of UK politics and it is rare that its impact on the labour market is questioned.

But a report from the Resolution Foundation has found that almost one in 10 jobs now pays within 50p of the minimum wage as the labour market has become increasingly "bottom-heavy".


Many of is pointed this out at the time and have been arguing that this is the case for years. Of course the solution to failed intervention is of course more intervention. Laugh
Pause Switch to Standard View The minimum wage.
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Report Ski-Wiz July 5, 2013 5:19 PM BST
Not by my standard paddle....by my observations of preggy teenagers, then look at their parents - equally irresponsible layabouts who don't care and thinks the state should provide all....screaming 'tax the rich'.
Report paddletoe July 5, 2013 6:17 PM BST
Oh that old chestnut....the rich need to pay less tax ( and sometimes no tax ) in order to lift everybody else up.
Report boris-the-animal July 5, 2013 6:39 PM BST
LaughLaughLaugh

But paddletoe, why would you want the rich to pay any taxes?

They already provide employment to millions of poor people and those people do pay taxes thanks to the rich!!!

They pay taxes when they buy their mansions, sports cars and yachts.

Everybody knows they don't use any public services so they should not pay any taxes!!!Devil
Report mightymoyes July 5, 2013 6:55 PM BST
they 'provide employment' out of the goodness of their hearts im sure.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 6, 2013 1:29 AM BST
You guys need to decide which it is? Do the rich not pay tax? If not why do the top 1% contribute so much of our tax take?

As for children of the feckless this is an age old problem. Once upon a time they took the kids off em because they knew that the money they handed over would be spent on shiit and the kids would then turn out as wrong uns so these kids you don't want punishing would be punished anyway if left with the parents who cannot look after themselves properly let alone another generation who will just end up as bad if not worse.

What's the answer. It certainly isn't paying unfit people to breed and then throwing money at them to prevent the kids suffering. Scroats will still have a beano and leave nowt for the kids even if you stuck em in a good house and gave em the money to dress the kids in designer gear.
Report boris-the-animal July 6, 2013 10:36 AM BST
EO

You guys need to decide which it is? Do the rich not pay tax? If not why do the top 1% contribute so much of our tax take?

I am just speaking for myself and for no one else but I really believe the rich pay too much tax!!!

We are becoming more and more Americanised where the top 1% pays too much income tax at and the bottom 50% (bottom 43% paid none) paid just 2.3% of the fedetal income tax. the top 1% used to pay 9% only in the early 70s when they had a more egalitarian society.

In Britain the top 1% pay about 25% while the bottom 50% pay 12% of income tax.

In the late 1960s right up to the early 1980s the top 1% only paid about 11% of income tax.

So I would not mind us going back to the tax levels we had back then and reduce the burden of VAT which is a very regressive tax which has transferred the tax burden away from the wealthy to the poor and middle class.


http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/03/celebrating-the-25th-anniversary-of-nigel-lawsons-tax-cutting-budget/

http://economia.icaew.com/finance/tax-the-rich
Report Dr Crippen July 6, 2013 10:37 AM BST
I agree with EO completely on that.

Regarding unemployed people - where are the demonstrations against unemployment these days? There aren't any because it's too easy to get by on the dole.
Yet when benefits are cut all hell breaks loose; well nearly.

Which says it all.
Report boris-the-animal July 6, 2013 10:39 AM BST
The top 1% of Americans pay around 33% of income tax and inequalities just gets from bad and worse
Report boris-the-animal July 6, 2013 10:57 AM BST
Dr C

How can people demonstrate against unemployment when people have been convinced the government cannot provide jobs as they are always wasteful and the private sector bearly has 1/2 million vacancies when there are more than 3-4 million people unemployed?

The unemployment benefits are just enough to enable people to get on but working wages should be attractive enough to enable people to buy luxuries.

I won't mind them simply expecting all the unemployed to do some sort of community service/training for 2 or 3 days a week in return for their benefits.

Lazy people would then be doing something for their benefits while most people would realise it is not worth it and they would try harder in order to find work and afford luxuries.
Report Dr Crippen July 6, 2013 11:23 AM BST
How can people demonstrate against unemployment when people have been convinced the government cannot provide jobs as they are always wasteful and the private sector bearly has 1/2 million vacancies when there are more than 3-4 million people unemployed?

Were do you draw that conclusion from?

You're being very generous to the unemployed by suggesting that they have their fingers so on the pulse so firmly.
And politicians are always going on about providing extra jobs, whether they can or cannot is another matter. But instead they simply pay people enough to stay at home and get by.

People don't demonstrate against unemployment these days, because too many of them have been demotivated from doing anything by managing to get by without work. 

And many of them have also realised that there are better things in life than standing in front of a noisy oily lathe all day.
Report Ski-Wiz July 6, 2013 1:41 PM BST
I am just speaking for myself and for no one else but I really believe the rich pay too much tax!!!

Yes....'experts' trot all statistics on the rich paying Income tax, blah blah blah. They however do not give the full picture according to reality. Those rich can get their IT back by dumping money into pension scheme. Those rich can buy up many houses to rent and get their money back via HB, or TC. The day someone does a full scale investigation into the complexities of the tax system coupled with the welfare system and what the rich truly pays, would be the day the poor and middle class wakes up to the full truth.

REVOLUTION...........
Report Ski-Wiz July 6, 2013 1:47 PM BST
government cannot provide jobs

Thy do....useless public sector jobs.

Government needs to disband the 'red tapes' and get out of the EU........abolish taxes for new businesses until they are established and profitable.
Report Mister E July 6, 2013 6:05 PM BST
government cannot provide jobs
.......abolish taxes for new businesses until they are established and profitable.

The money used to reduce the top rate of tax from 50%, could have been used to reduce employers NI contributions for new businesses, under 25s, newly employed etc. That would create jobs.
A tax reduction for Prem. footballers, boy bands, Hedge Fund Managers, CEs wont create many jobs.
They don't gaf about small businesses, just look after the old pals.
Report Mighty Whites 2008 July 6, 2013 6:39 PM BST
The money used to reduce the top rate of tax from 50%

how much has the tax taken fallen by mister e since the reduction to 45%
Report Eeternaloptimist July 6, 2013 6:39 PM BST
Imagine if there was another Jarrow March? Them poor buggers marched hundreds of miles for work. How far would the scroungers march to get their free sky, beer and faags? Further than the nearest off licence? Laugh
Report Ski-Wiz July 6, 2013 6:53 PM BST
Imagine if there was another Jarrow March?

They wouldn't get very far being overweight and unfit. After 100 yards, they will realised Jeremy Kyle show is just about to start and waddle back home.
Report gus July 6, 2013 8:10 PM BST
Elastoplast, you say:

Many of is pointed this out at the time and have been arguing that this is the case for years.

allowing for typos, what, precisely was it that many of you were pointing out?
Report Eeternaloptimist July 6, 2013 8:39 PM BST
I thought that much was obvious. The point was when you get a floor then those previously some way above that floor will gradually be moved downwards towards it and that is what is happening.
Report gus July 6, 2013 8:56 PM BST
i would also have thought the point was obvious.

When you set a floor, employers will be legally required to pay 'the floor'.

If you don't set a floor, employers will pay as little as they can get away with.

are you seriously suggeting that employers would currently be paying  more than the current minimum wage hen they can get away with it, if the minimum wage wasn't in place?

by the way, since you set so much credence by Professor Bains' opinions, and, apparently those of the Torygraph:

"As chairman I [the man himself] was as responsible as anybody but the reason it [the minimum wage] was fixed too low was because the ONS provided us with data that, in retrospect, turned out to be erroneous."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/4938988/Sir-George-Bain-is-back-to-wage-war-on-low-pay.html
Report Eeternaloptimist July 6, 2013 9:56 PM BST
I believe in the principle of free adults of sound mind being allowed to enter contracts which they agree on as long as one party isn't coerced. If I want a gardener and want to pay £4 an hour and you are prepared to do the job for that then we should be free to make that agreement. If an artificial minimum wage dictates the rate has to be £7 an hour I may choose not to employ a gardener and that person loses the chance of gainful employment.

By the way it should have been clear what my point was. A small number of people benefitted in the good times from a minimum wage but a larger number seem to be losing out through it due to levelling down.
Report gus July 6, 2013 10:24 PM BST
and if you pay someone £4.00, so that they   can subsist only  by being subsidised by the taxpayer, should the tax-payer just cough up, or should he insist that, if you want a gardener you must pay them a living wage, do without, or be punished for your greed?

it is painfully clear that your point is 'A small number of people benefitted in the good times from a minimum wage but a larger number seem to be losing out through it due to levelling down' fatuous though it is.

what i don't understand is what conceivable relevance you imagine it has to the Professor's statement that:

"The UK is at risk of creating a two-tier labour market in which growing numbers of workers earn little more than the legal minimum."
Report Dr Crippen July 6, 2013 10:34 PM BST
Eo,

But most people would choose to pay the extra rather that break their own backs doing that kind of work. And if it's cash in hand what the hell anyway?
Report Dr Crippen July 6, 2013 10:41 PM BST
I don't get this levelling down idea; what employer pays a penny more for labour than he needs to anyway?
Report Ski-Wiz July 6, 2013 10:58 PM BST
Gus.......people should be free to enter whatever contract they want.....its called negotiation. Its the basis of liberty. If a couple in their 50's, rich and taking it easy.....the wife does volunteer works at a local charity.....the husband bored, fancy doing a bit of work. Decide to do some gardening for a bit of pocket money to pay the weekly food, water and energy bill that comes to £100. He negotiate 25 hours @ £4, that' his liberty to do so. No one else business.

Also the main reason why most people are low paid is the recruitment agencies. They pay the minimum wage and keep the rest for themselves. People looking for work should be allowed to bypass them and negotiate with employers directly.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 6, 2013 11:48 PM BST
gus

Isn't it self explanatory? Seriously?
Report gus July 7, 2013 8:27 AM BST
the basis of liberty is staying alive, and if, as appears to be the current policy, you are offered the choice between work or starve, but the only work available doesn't pay enough to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly, then you won't live very long to enjoy your liberty.
Report blackburn1 July 7, 2013 9:08 AM BST
Create your own work, no man has the right to be given work by another.

If you want to sit on your arse blaming the world then phuck you
Report macarony July 7, 2013 10:37 AM BST
The minimum wage has fast become the national wage for many workers in this country, big business knows that they can shift a substantial percentage of their wage bill onto the tax payer via housing benefit and tax creadits.
Report gus July 7, 2013 10:50 AM BST
yes, and if there was no minumum wage  the national wage for many workers in this country would be even less.
Its a minimum, not a maximum.
Report macarony July 7, 2013 10:56 AM BST
Tell that to employers I agree it is a good idea in principle, just poorly applied in practice.
Report blackburn1 July 7, 2013 11:15 AM BST

yes, and if there was no minumum wage  the national wage for many workers in this country would be even less.
Its a minimum, not a maximum.


There'd be more people working too
Report blackburn1 July 7, 2013 11:15 AM BST

the basis of liberty is staying alive, and if, as appears to be the current policy, you are offered the choice between work or starve, but the only work available doesn't pay enough to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly, then you won't live very long to enjoy your liberty.


Who starves to death in this country?
Report Dr Crippen July 7, 2013 11:31 AM BST
By the way I referred above to the days before extensive benefits were  available. That was in the days when people's wages were adequate to keep them.

Of course, those were the days before we had such a chronic over supply of labour that we have now.
Scarcity of labour itself kept wages at reasonable level.

Why do most of the ills of the country always seem to come back to immigration?
Report blackburn1 July 7, 2013 11:40 AM BST
People's wages are adequate now crippen but we all want 2 cars, foreign holidays, sky tv etc etc let the scroats pick apples like the poles do.
Report Ski-Wiz July 7, 2013 12:27 PM BST
Dr Crippen......but politicians use 'basis standard of living' to justify their policies. It does raise the question, what is 'basis standard of living'? This is very subjective to each one of us. People managed on 1 wages 40 years ago as all they need was a roof over their head, food, water, energy, some spending money. Now the politicians have deemed that a roof over their head, food, water, energy, some spending money, a car, enough for petrol, phone line, mobile 'line', broadband, odd assorted of technological goods, holidays, £40 per week on booze and another £40 on **** be deemed as 'basis standard of living'.

This has nothing to do with 'basis standard of living' but all about boosting consumer spending to boost the GDP which leads to boom and bust via expansion of money supply. The biggest clue is when economists are involved in researching and creating reports into the minimum wage. Their involvement smacks of self-interest and vested-interest towards the companies and not the poor.

The idea that politicians care about the poor is an absolute myth, otherwise we wouldn't be having such a flawed economic policies in the first place. But over 90% of the population just do not get it.
Report gus July 7, 2013 1:04 PM BST
i think most people would agree that the standard of life available to someone with an hourly income of:

21 and over: £6.19
18-20 £4.98
Under 18: £3.72
Apprentice £2.65

will be somewhat basic.
Report Mister E July 7, 2013 1:35 PM BST
how much has the tax taken fallen by mister e since the reduction to 45%

Announce a future increase in tax, and everybody who can will take bonuses, profits before the year end.
Therefore the yield is flattened.

Announce a future reduction and the inverse happens.

Annual comparisons are deceptive.
Report Dr Crippen July 7, 2013 4:53 PM BST
By the way I referred above to the days before extensive benefits were  available.

If anybody is confused by what I wrote there, it's because the post it referred to has been deleted.
Report Angel Gabrial July 7, 2013 8:23 PM BST
The usual xenophobes on here want to see the minimum wage eradicated and pass on the bill to the taxpayer - only to then grandstand their anger at the high tax credits bill which would subsidise these employers who bemoan paying their workers a living wage.

If you have a business and can`t manage it to pay a living wage to your employees then get your thumb out of your arse and get off this forum. Your wish of owning a Victorian workhouse is just another fantasy you coont!

Viva la revolution!
Report mightymoyes July 7, 2013 8:25 PM BST
in this day and age the working week should be down to 3 or 4 days. arguing over minimum wage is a joke.
Report Angel Gabrial July 7, 2013 8:31 PM BST
The voice of reason is mightymoyes.
Report Dr Crippen July 7, 2013 8:52 PM BST
Have you been on the pop AG?
Report Angel Gabrial July 7, 2013 9:23 PM BST
Had a few but not directed at you Crippen.

For those who would be happy to see an introduction of that similar to the Adover Workhouse and other penal settlements for the poor.
Report mightymoyes July 7, 2013 9:31 PM BST
workfare is the beginning of that.
Report ClayDavis July 8, 2013 9:56 AM BST
Germany has a MW, strongest economy in Europe. Germany has strong and vibrant Unions, strongest economy in Europe. Germany has more regulations on businesses than us, strongest economy in Europe.

While Thatch was happy for people in the UK to be earning 50p an hour while she was courting financial spivs and selling all our industries down the plug hole, the Germans were paying their engineers, construction workers, their butchers, their bakers and their candlestick makers a decent wage.

I'm afraid, as the evidence shows, these right wingers know about as much about running a successful economy as Arsene Wenger does about winning a trophy. CoolCool

Can someone tell me how the Scandinavian economies have done over the past 30 years with all this State burden and all this State regulation?
Report Dr Crippen July 8, 2013 11:23 AM BST
There a lot in what ClayDavis says.
And at the root of the problem is the two tier system we have in this country regarding staff and workers.
Until we put that right we'll never compete with other countries.
Report Dr Crippen July 8, 2013 11:27 AM BST
With reference to that post of mine that Betfair removed.

My sin was to mention immigration, and the detrimental effect it had had on wages creating an oversupply of labour.

This editing of posts by Betfair seems very one sided, and is starting to show the political bias of their staff who are doing the editing.

There was nothing offensive to anyone in my post that they removed.
Report Angel Gabrial July 8, 2013 2:14 PM BST
Immigration has saturated the job market for sure and why we need to import thousands upon thousands of foreign females in to the UK to fill care worker vacancies when we have thousands upon thousands of unskilled British females on the dole is nuts. Care work vacancies are everywhere with ongoing training provided.

Keep the minimum wage, get our unemployed females into care work or else it advertises immigration.

Some people want it both ways. You can`t have it.
Report blackburn1 July 8, 2013 2:26 PM BST
There's no minimum wage in Germany
Report blackburn1 July 8, 2013 2:43 PM BST
So, according to my old mate clay, the strongest economy in Europe doesn't have a minimum wage.
Report ClayDavis July 8, 2013 2:56 PM BST
Blackburn - I know what your trying here and you are very wrong and making a silly point. Do you want me to refer to an 'illegal payment' instead of a minimum wage when it comes to Germany? And some Germany courts determine than an 'illegal payment' is anything lower than 75% of the national average for the particular trade or profession.
There was no need to bring in 'minimum wage' legislation in Germany as it was always covered under the 'illegal payments' elements of their law. And the 'illegal payments' law is stricter than a minimum wage.
So let's not split hairs.

still no anyone answering my question huh? Germany, Scandinavian countries? All struggle under minimum wages and stake regulation don't they? Why is it when right wingers are presented with FACTS they just disappear. Funny that
Report blackburn1 July 8, 2013 3:03 PM BST
clay you're talking bollox again

None; except for construction workers, electrical workers, janitors, roofers, painters, and letter carriers. Minimum wage is often set by collective bargaining agreements in other sectors of the economy and enforceable by law[7]
However, the law states that paying a worker an "immoral wage" is illegal. There is no general consensus what constitutes "immoral" payment. One judge at a court in Krefeld, Germany, ruled that a cashier at a supermarket has to earn the equivalent of approximately 7USD per hour. The federal courts in Germany ruled that any wage lower than 75% of the average wage or salary for a specific occupation constitutes illegal payment. However, since there is no well defined legal minimum wage as of February 2013, courts are usually the ones who have the final say and will only rule for individual cases.


No min wage = strong economy FACT

Cool
Report ClayDavis July 8, 2013 3:10 PM BST
Blackburn - are u seriously suggesting you can pay someone whatever u want to pay them in Germany? You are batsh!t mental if u think that. They have a minimum wage my deluded friend.

No attempt at answering my question or are u stuck? Go away and work it out if u want? Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany. It's not difficult but I will give u some time
Report bazzar July 8, 2013 3:13 PM BST
Best laugh on here Blackburn and Sphincter believing they are intelligent, one admits a criminal act and
the other contradicts himself repeatedly.LaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh
Report blackburn1 July 8, 2013 3:15 PM BST
Here clay, what about that other struggling economy, China.

Set locally, ranges from 870 RMB ($138) per month in Jiangxi Province to 1,500 RMB ($238) per month in Shenzhen.

Cool

They have a minimum wage my deluded friend.

Errh, no they don't.
Report ClayDavis July 8, 2013 3:19 PM BST
Blackburn - u have behaving like an utter buffoon.

1. can you pay a worker in Germany whatever u want?

2. Are their laws and rules on wages stricter in Germany than in the UK?

3. do you have any idea what collective bargaining is?


These are yes and no answers.
Report ClayDavis July 8, 2013 3:21 PM BST
Blackburn - for someone I thought was reasonably intelligent I can't for the life of me believe you are using the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front argument.
I must say I expected better
Report blackburn1 July 8, 2013 3:24 PM BST
http://www.bruegel.org/nc/blog/detail/article/1036-a-review-on-germanys-minimum-wage-debate/

Unlike many other EU countries, Germany does not have a national minimum wage even though specific industrial sectors have one.  The upper chamber of parliament, the Bundesrat, has now proposed a minimum wage of 8.5€.

clay, you deal in FACTS

Cool
Report ClayDavis July 8, 2013 3:28 PM BST
Blackburn - failure to answer my questions proves my point. It's hot out there. I'll let u off for that reason alone
Report blackburn1 July 8, 2013 3:33 PM BST
clay you will argue black is white.

This thread is about the minimum wage, you state that Germany has the strongest economy in Europe, I simply pointed out that it has no national minimum wage.

Not for the first time you've painted yourself into a corner.

Now, what was your question?
Report Ski-Wiz July 8, 2013 4:27 PM BST
The federal courts in Germany ruled that any wage lower than 75% of the average wage or salary for a specific occupation constitutes illegal payment.

Therein lies the difference between minimum wage (UK, regardless of job) and paying according to the occupation, but for that occupation the wages are similar, so one can't pay a cleaner £2 per hour if the average wage is £4 per hour. (Germany). So £4 per hour for a cleaner in Germany is lower than UK's minimum wage. No bleeding wonder their exports and economy IS better than ours.

To sum it up, Blackburn 1 v Clay 0.
Report Ski-Wiz July 8, 2013 5:01 PM BST
As i said before that the recruitment agencies are the prime reason why many have low wages. Real life example from the real world, not la la land in cloud cuckoo city.

My recruitment company is getting paid £19 per hour and my wage is £11. The difference of £8 per hour for 37.5 hours a week  totalling £300. Currently working for a government agency as an administrator.

What have i deduce from the above. The person wage is £412.5 per week. (£21,450 per annum) It does look pretty good except in London and southern counties. However its still lower than the £26,000 cap on benefits, that some on here objected to. After IT and NI, the take home pay is £17,403.76, much more lower than the cap. But why is the government spending £300 per week of taxpayers' money to an agency. I would demand £18 from the government, saving taxpayers £1......yearly income would be £35100 and after taxes, £26,685.76. Just above the benefit cap.Wink

The fact that the agencies always take a cut for themselves. They are like slave master and their subjects are slaves.

Now when an agency charges £14 per hour and pay the minimum wage of £6 per hour, boosting minimum wages or providing tax credits will not work, as it increases the costs to the companies and then prices of goods goes up. People should be able to cut out the agencies and go direct and seek £14 or so for themselves.

That's ladies and gentlemen IS free market and no government interference necessary.
Report Angel Gabrial July 8, 2013 6:03 PM BST
The Germans indirectly have a minimum wage regarding certain sectors and the 75% calculation of the average wage but also the German government determines a level of income and nobody can be forced to accept lower paid work.

So in actual fact Clay is bang on.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 8, 2013 9:05 PM BST
Clay has rudimentary knowledge of most things and parades it again here shouting the odds about Germany. A few years ago they were being called the sick man of europe. What helped them out of the mire was two things. Firstly, the ability to export quality manufactured products. Something we also used to be able to do until the unions, poor management and post war government ruined it. Secondly and crucially interest rates being set to assist the German economy which ended up ruining what has become known as the piigs.

I suggest you do a bit more research in future.
Report Angel Gabrial July 8, 2013 9:21 PM BST
Heike Göbel writes on 24 February 2013 in the FAZ that, in fact, there is already an indirect minimum wage in Germany. The German government determines with the “Arbeitslosengeld II” (German unemployment benefit), which is financed by taxpayers’ money, already a minimum level for income. Doing this already indirectly determines a “minimum wage”: Nobody can be forced to accept lower paid work.
Report gus July 8, 2013 9:21 PM BST
yep, if only we had governments like we had in the 1930's, just watch us go!

oh, sorry, we do have governments like we had in the 1930's Sad
Report Dr Crippen July 8, 2013 9:25 PM BST
We were good at manufacturing until the others got going and showed us how to do it.
When the Japanese flooded our motorcycle market with bikes that were far superior to ours the writing was on the wall.

We still make plenty of cars in the UK, but our car plants are owned and managed by foreign firms, and British labour is only there to do the donkey work.

You can't blame the unions for that.
Our best people don't go into manufacturing at any level because the rewards are greater elsewhere, and that's all there is to it.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 8, 2013 9:44 PM BST
We still had a huge manufacturing base post war Crips with an empire and then commonwealth clamouring for our goods. The unions played an integral part in destroying that as indeed did poor management and decisions taken by government.
Report boris-the-animal July 8, 2013 10:57 PM BST
The management v union's relationship became so acrimonious because our leaders were not looking long term enough to involve the unions/staff to the board of directors for their mutual interests early on.

If we had followed the German or Scandinavian model we would not be where we are and the unions would not have become the desruptive force they were in the 60s and 70s.

Management equally did not invest in R&D and the result is the slow death of our manufacturing industry especially with the BOE's policy of maintaining high interest rates.
Report Ski-Wiz July 8, 2013 11:02 PM BST
The elders in my family were fond of telling me how the country went from a quality manufacturing nation that consumers worldwide wanted, to a bottom rate pile of cr@p.

- Government interferences and arrogance.
- Unions interferences and arrogance.
- Workers brainwashed by unions and politicians coupled with arrogancy.
- Bosses became lazy and arrogance.
- Political parties competing with each other to win the election by offering bribes and other nonsense.
- Dropping the gold standard and huge inflation via current monetary policies.

Arrogance - politicians, unions, workers and bosses became complacent and thought no one could beat them.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 8, 2013 11:18 PM BST
The only thing I'd add to that spot on post is the we won the war mentality which only partly explains that peculiar arrogance which was then followed by a defeatist attitude less than thirty years later.
Report Angel Gabrial July 9, 2013 9:17 AM BST
In the north-east, manufacturing jobs have nearly halved since 1997 alone.

Headshrinkers at Whitehall don`t care about anything but the City, they believe that Britain can simply borrow more and sell its assets to foreigners, but what happens when the foreigners pull the plug. Ask Greece.
Report blackburn1 July 9, 2013 9:25 AM BST
The reason we don't make anything is unions priced us out of the market
Report boris-the-animal July 9, 2013 10:11 AM BST
BB

How powerful were the unions in 1997 to have caused our manufacturing to halve since that time?

The unions were simply a symptom of a bigger problem in our society but it seems you prefer to look at the simplistic view that the big bad unions destroyed this country.
Report ClayDavis July 9, 2013 10:23 AM BST
Blackburn - LaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh Amazed that someone actually believes this LaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh
My god. Germany, France and Scandinavia have very strong unions and yet they make things. My god. What do they know that thicko right wingers in this country don't huh?
Nothing to do with Thatch wanting a property-owning democracy where finance and retail were the dominant sectors? That was her dream. Her dream came true. But it's all the union fault?
If right wingers in this country had a brain cell they would be dangerous
Report blackburn1 July 9, 2013 10:25 AM BST
The damage was done by then, strikes, work to rules etc then the minimum wage was the final nail.

The bigger problem we have is the ridiculous entitlement culture that doesn't exist elsewhere, too many people think they deserve something for nothing
Report blackburn1 July 9, 2013 10:29 AM BST
clay, all the smileys in the world won't disguise your black is white stance.

Can't you remember 3 day weeks, power cuts, rubbish in the street etc. Nope, you've deleted it from history because it doesn't sit comfortably with your donkey jacket round the brazier view of things.

A million foreigners work here because our lazy bastards believe they're entitled to do nothing, because dopey idealists like you have led them to believe that.
Report Angel Gabrial July 9, 2013 10:56 AM BST
Production line technology, EU policies, soaring energy costs, greenbelt issues, government focus on finance were problematic for industry. Since 1997 the Unions have been quiet.

The credit card boom coincides with the lazy culture, a generation who could hold the rewards of tomorrows labour without having to do the labour. This City initiative was the real downfall.
Report ClayDavis July 9, 2013 11:04 AM BST
BB - u seemed to have airbrushed Thatch wanting a property-owning democracy where finance and retail were the dominant sectors dream from your memory.
You know BB, they have strikes in other countries too
Report blackburn1 July 9, 2013 11:11 AM BST
clay, you are talking about separate issues, the city and related business has replaced manufacturing since the world decided we were too expensive and unreliable.

Other people build ships, planes, cars etc cheaper than we can.

We'd be even more phucked without the revenue from the city etc, a FACT you choose to ignore
Report ClayDavis July 9, 2013 11:24 AM BST
BB - are u saying it's less expensive, and with less labour costs, to make a car in France or Germany than in the UK? I beg to differ I'm afraid.
You are forgetting one very important thing in your argument. These countries benefited from massive government investment - and propping up - of industries. In the UK? Nah.......not on your guys watch huh? Rather bail out spivs than the Car industry and shipbuilding etc etc
Report ClayDavis July 9, 2013 11:29 AM BST
BB - do u notice the difference? U must? The right argued manufacturing shouldn't be bailed out or propped up. Industries went to the wall. Jobs lost, communities destroyed etc etc but the right argued that the banks must be bailed out and the sector propped up.
The right's economic arguments as per usual don't add up.
I know if manufacturing was treated in the same way banking was we would be in a far better place than we are now.
But spivs rule huh? Thatch got her way
Report Java July 9, 2013 11:47 AM BST
"but the right argued that the banks must be bailed out and the sector propped up."

When did right wingers ever argue that bailing out banks is correct?  Bailing out banks isn't capitalism my friend.
Report Ski-Wiz July 9, 2013 12:05 PM BST
How powerful were the unions in 1997 to have caused our manufacturing to halve since that time?

Minimum wage and excessive regulations is what done it.
Report Dr Crippen July 9, 2013 12:13 PM BST
Here’s a chart with a ‘’List of countries by motor vehicle production’’ since 1950.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_motor_vehicle_production

The UK is producing about the same number of cars that it was in 1990, but if the unions were the cause of our production problems – then why hasn’t production increased since then now that the unions are ineffective?
And more significantly – why were foreign companies so keen to take over our car companies, if running the plants with the unions on their backs was such a handicap?

I think we have to look behind the easy scapegoat that unions provide for our decline in manufacturing.
As EO rightly pointed out they did play a part in it.

But whatever is holding back UK manufacturing now, it certainly isn’t the unions
Report Ski-Wiz July 9, 2013 12:14 PM BST
the right argued that the banks must be bailed out and the sector propped up.

Oh er.....it was ex-dictator Gordon Brown, supreme leader of the left. And when Rover went to the wall, the left were silenced on that. No good blaming the 'righties'. Its the damn EU regulations, followed 100% by our dippy brainless moronic politicians, but ignored by the rest of the EU.
Report blackburn1 July 9, 2013 12:17 PM BST
Nah.......not on your guys watch huh? Rather bail out spivs than the Car industry and shipbuilding etc etc

Just how confused is clay?

ffs clay you dunce, I appreciate you want to believe differently but Mrs T was not around when Labour bailed out the banks. Yep, labour, the party you vote for under any circumstances, the ones that saw manufacturing half (according to you).

Give yourself a rest clay, you're just shouting for the sake of it.
Report Ski-Wiz July 9, 2013 12:22 PM BST
But whatever is holding back UK manufacturing now, it certainly isn’t the unions

There are always more than one reason for any given problem. We could do manufacturing to a certain extend but the damn regulations, excessive taxes, etc must go......getting out of the EU a must. The question is will people want to work in factories producing things when they can have an easy time sitting in a office? The welfare state allows people to make a choice between working in a factory or staying at home, of course its against their human right to deny their daily pleasure of watching Jeremy Kyle show.
Report Ski-Wiz July 9, 2013 1:13 PM BST
From a report about minimum wage.

'While Germany continues to debate the introduction of a legislated national minimum wage, binding
minimum wages already apply in a number of industrial sectors linked to collective agreements. Recently,
the argument for a national wage-floor has become more prominent for two reasons.'

So Germany are debating on a national minimum wage........logic dictates they don't have one.Cool
Report Angel Gabrial July 9, 2013 3:19 PM BST
Indirectly Germany have a pay floor because if you are on dole in Germany the governments set a level of fair pay, which if an employer offers work below this amount you can refuse to accept the job as you are following the governments payment guidelines.

And as you know many sectors in Germany negotiate a minimum wage for their sector.
Report ClayDavis July 9, 2013 3:56 PM BST
AG - the thickos on here can't grasp that. No point arguing with them
Report Ski-Wiz July 9, 2013 4:59 PM BST
CD....it is the thickos like yourself that don't understand the difference between national minimum wage which applies to all sectors, decided by politicians; and 'minimum wage' for each sectors, decided by collective agreements.
Report blackburn1 July 9, 2013 5:07 PM BST
ski, you're beginning to get the picture, they'll argue black is white.

It is indisputable that there is no national minimum wage in Europe's strongest economy, bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbut is all they can say.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 9, 2013 5:11 PM BST
Hang on a minute clay. You don't seem to have grasped this point having been banging on about Germany:

Clay has rudimentary knowledge of most things and parades it again here shouting the odds about Germany. A few years ago they were being called the sick man of europe. What helped them out of the mire was two things. Firstly, the ability to export quality manufactured products. Something we also used to be able to do until the unions, poor management and post war government ruined it. Secondly and crucially interest rates being set to assist the German economy which ended up ruining what has become known as the piigs.
Report Angel Gabrial July 9, 2013 6:04 PM BST
If you live in Bremen Germany then there is a minimum wage in force.

The Bremen State Minimum Wage Act,  Germany is a different animal collectively due to the historical separation of east and west. It`s not black and whiteWink
Report ClayDavis July 9, 2013 6:55 PM BST
AG - I've told u, they are thick. it's not worth arguing over.
Report boris-the-animal July 9, 2013 7:34 PM BST
So when they would start imposing the living wage which is subject to local differences instead of the NMW we can also claim that there was no National minimum wages just negotiated regional minimum wages!!!

Following that logic we can implement such cosmetic differences and become a model of free market and libertarianism as Ski-Wiz and BB imply!!!Crazy
Report Angel Gabrial July 9, 2013 7:45 PM BST
Deep down Clay, they know the point being made here is that the German economy has not been a success due to exploiting cheap labour.

The Germans have pay structures in place, that`s all we need to know.
Report Ski-Wiz July 9, 2013 7:49 PM BST
Norman Lamb, the Care Minister, has told the Commons in a written reply that 307,000 workers in the care sector in England are employed on zero hours contracts.

Now can anyone tell me why there are 307,000 workers in the care sector (only care sector, not all sectors) on zero hours contracts.

ooooohhhhhh!!!!.......minimum wage. This what happens when politicians and thick do-gooders interfere in the labour market. Companies will pay lawyers to find a way around the minimum wage in order to control their wages budget. That's reality.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 9, 2013 8:06 PM BST
You keep coming back and ignoring my point Clay. Tells me all I need to know. Wink
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