Tag Archives: living wage

Huppert on Astra Zeneca takeover’s threat to jobs, the European elections and the living wage

Medical Drugs for Pharmacy Health Shop of MedicineJulian Huppert has been talking to Cambridge student magazine Varsity.

Not surprisingly, the subject of Pfizer’s proposed takeover of Astra Zeneca came up. Why should students be bothered?

It will have a direct impact on the prospects for people in particular disciplines, and will be a longer term issue about the future of Britain”, he replies. “This matters for students who work in STEM subjects, natscis, chem-eng, all of those subjects, because this could be their employment – even if you don’t work directly

photo by: epSos.de
Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Do I want a £100 tax cut? Not now, Nick

This morning Nick Clegg has embarked on a major new campaign to press the Coalition Government to increase the income tax threshold by a further £500, taking the first £10,500 of income out of tax. With half an eye to next month’s Autumn Statement, he wants to go beyond the Coalition Agreement.

However, there are problems with this.

The first is the obvious one: it has to be paid for. How will that happen?  Well, with the Conservatives having rejected any further tax on the wealthy and other changes to taxation, it would have to come from additional spending cuts. It is …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 96 Comments

Opinion: Labour’s Living Wage really means the State taxes the poor more

This is – according to the Labour Party – the start of “Living Wage week”, a soundbite policy of the kind we’re now used to hearing from Labour.

Superficially, the idea of the Living Wage is simple and tempting. Figure out how much it costs to live, and force employers to pay that much.

Labour’s chosen method of doing this is to offer employers tax breaks – for a year  – if they comply with the Living Wage rather than the national minimum wage. However, as pointed out by the Adam Smith Institute, what we are actually dealing with is

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 33 Comments

The Independent View: The Living Wage can be fair but affordable in tough economic times

On Saturday, Adam Corlett outlined his concern that how the Living Wage is calculated could cause problematic increases over the next few years. He raises some valid issues. However, the Living Wage has been designed so that it cannot rise uncontrollably, and in reality it is likely to rise much less, relative to general pay, than Adam is suggesting.

The Living Wage’s growing popularity shows so many employers have been willing to take on the commitment to pay enough for a decent living standard, even though times are tough. With average living standards going down, this reflects a widespread moral view …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged | 3 Comments

The Independent View: I know what next month’s living wage will be and it doesn’t relate to the cost of living

On 4 November we will learn the level of the new Living Wage, which many employers have volunteered to pay as a minimum. At present it is £7.45 an hour outside London. I’m betting that next month it will rise to £7.65.* How do I know? Well, the current calculation is remarkably simple, and it has nothing to do with the cost of living. What’s more, future increases risk making proposed living wage policies unaffordable or even damaging.

Academics at Loughborough University do calculate the wage needed to fund, after tax and benefits, what members of the public consider a basic …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Brian Paddick writes… A seat in the House of Lords

When Nick called me to ask if I would be a Peer, he said, amongst other things, that it was time I had my own political platform. So that got me thinking about what my political platform might look like. Here are some initial thoughts.

I know we are in Coalition with them but I can find few redeeming features in Tory economics. Of course work should pay more than benefits but have benefits really have reduced to the level where families have to resort to food banks? Are those with disabilities having to give up independent living and are families …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Getting the facts right on the Living Wage

One of the key battlegrounds on which the 2015 General Election will be fought is living costs, especially for those on low and low-to-middle incomes.  With times tough and the cost of many basic items essential for living having outpaced wage inflation for a decade (according to the most comprehensive study of the subject, led by the Resolution Foundation but with considerable input from business and other organisations) – and with no money left in the public purse – answers are not easy.

The Liberal Democrats have, rightly, chosen to address this by a range of measures, and the key …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 28 Comments

David Laws on the Liberal Democrat agenda for tackling low pay

David LawsLast Wednesday David Laws gave a speech at the Resolution Foundation on the Liberal Democrat agenda for tackling low pay.

He began by reflecting on the job market.

Many of us vividly remember the recession of the early 1980s, which destroyed so many jobs. There are still communities in our country which have failed to recover from that economic heart-attack. In contrast, the recent recession and the unusually slow recovery from it have been characterised by much better than expected employment outcomes. Instead of losing millions of jobs, we have been

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Opinion: It’s time for Liberal Democrats to embrace the Living Wage

Earlier this month was Living Wage Week which was the first ever UK-wide week devoted to highlighting the need for employees to receive a wage they can live on.

The week saw the campaign generate much publicity, starting with Boris Johnson announcing an increased rate of the London Living Wage to £8.55 an hour (compared to its national rate of £7.45) and Ed Milliband pledging to extend its implementation through Government contracts.

More Liberal Democrats need to learn why the campaign for greater take up of the Living Wage is so important.  While we have praised those employers …

Posted in News | 19 Comments

Opinion: Taking minimum wage work out of tax would deliver the Living Wage

With greater ambition, the Liberal Democrats’ policy of increasing the personal allowance would equalise the Living Wage and the minimum wage, without risking jobs.

It was announced yesterday that the national ‘Living Wage’ for 2013/14 will be £7.45. This compares to the National Minimum Wage of £6.19. Boris Johnson has urged more companies to adopt the Living Wage, and Labour are even considering giving tax incentives for firms to pay the Living Wage.

Few would argue with the benefits of higher pay for employees, or with other Living Wage benefits such as lower staff turnover. But evidently most employers …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 15 Comments

The living wage is fine as far as it goes, but the Lib Dems can be bolder

There we have it. Miliband’s big idea: the living wage. Only it is not Miliband’s idea. And more to the point it is not a very big idea. In fact, it seems to me extraordinarily unambitious.

We presently have a system in which somebody earning the national minimum wage – which for most is not sufficient to live in any comfort even before tax – and working full time pays income tax at 20% on about a third of their salary, national insurance, VAT on the goods they buy, fuel duty and road tax on the car that gets them to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Opinion: paying the Living Wage makes business sense, so what are you waiting for?

The Living Wage is something that all the main political parties endorse. According to the Prime Minister it is an idea ‘whose time has come’; Nick Clegg is behind it; Ed Miliband praised it at the Labour conference; and Boris Johnson is a staunch supporter of the campaign. It is therefore unfortunate that, for an idea that enjoys such strong cross-party support, to date, the only local councils accredited as Living Wage employers are of one political colour – red.

Posted in Op-eds | 13 Comments

What’s the most effective way of ensuring fair wages for low earners?

The question arises from James Graham’s excellent blog on how raising the personal income tax allowance, a central plank of Liberal Democrat influence in the Coalition, makes it more likely that large companies will pay fairer wages.

James was responding to Zoe Williams in the Guardian (well worth a read), who rightly highlights the negative societal impact of companies paying their employees wildly differing amounts – sky-high executive salaries at one end of the spectrum, and sub-living wages at the other that  have to be topped up by complex and costly welfare spending.

Of late there has been …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Opinion: the Liberal Democrats should support a Living Wage

The Living Wage is a term which has gained ground in mainstream politics over the past year or so. Ed Miliband has used it in attempts to forge his political identity. Boris Johnson has spokenof his support for the concept and would like to see it introduced in London and David Cameron has said it is an idea whose time has come.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a salary of £14,400 is the minimum a single person needs for an acceptable standard of living. This figure includes not only the basics in life, but covers what …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 31 Comments
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