01 August 2008

10 Years Of The Minimum Wage.

Bob Piper posts a list of Tory MPs that voted against the minimum wage (nearly all Tory MPs, including most of...
Cameron's cabinet).

The Labour Party website points out that £1.20 an hour was commonplace 10 years ago (£1.38 an hour in today's prices) and has a brilliant counter to demonstrate how little people would be earning without the minimum wage.

Tories have voted against maternity/paternity leave, the smoking ban, gay rights, abortion and the minimum wage. Cameron's claims to care about the most vulnerable are a sham. Before you believe Cameron's lies, imagine trying to live on £55 a week?


  1. Bollocks.

    My first job was a Saturday wiping tables in a caff (quite a nice one, but a caff nonetheless) up near Leeds Market in the early 1980s, and he paid me £1 an hour, or a bit more if business was good. And I kept my own tips, which amounted to very little, or course.

  2. Mark, so what are you saying? In the absense of a citizen's income, the minimum wage at least stops some of the worst abuses of employees. Of course with a citizen's income we could scrap the mimimum wage.

    People need enough money to live a reasonable existence - they either get that paid work, the state or from crime. Reduce either pay or benefits and crime goes up. It is as simple as that. There is no jutification for someone working a 40 hour work and not having enough for a decent living wage.

  3. I am saying that it is highly unlikely that significant numbers of people (apart from maybe paperboys and -girls) were earning £1.20 an hour ten years ago. Whoever says otherwise is lying.

    Agree on CI point (of course), or another way of putting it: it is [particularly savage] means testing that destroys work incentives. Earning 30% of £5.52 an hour is pretty derisory, but it's the 30% that is easily fixed.

  4. Mark, you are wrong - I knew plenty of packers, care assistants and cleaners working for £1.50 - £2 an hour and I used to work at McDonalds for £2.20 an hour (prob only about £2.80 in today's money).

  5. That's a bit more than £1.20, eh?

  6. MW: Yeah but not much more than £1.20. The point is, the minimum wage gave an immediate pay rise to millions - doubling, even tripling some wages.

  7. Neil,

    this is pretty much all you've got to cling to in over ten years of Labour government. You might as well call this post 'ten years since the Labour government did something that its rank and file agree with'.

    Even then, as Mark has pointed out, it may well be counter-productive.

  8. TT: Personally, the smoking ban has been my favourite policy. I think it has probably improved the quality of life of more people than the minimum wage.