4 thoughts on “The UK: a place where everyone has an opinion about what everyone else should be paid”

  1. Posted 05/04/2016 at 13:11 | Permalink

    Ryan Bourne: “apparently the employer should pay people to compensate them for their rents, fuel and childcare bills”. And their tax bills.

  2. Posted 05/04/2016 at 14:21 | Permalink

    We are hearing a good deal just now about how markets dislike uncertainty (in connection with the forthcoming Brexit referendum). Yet it is worth emphasising that once you let politicians in on the act, you increase uncertainty. We all know that they tend to panic (as in the Scottish Independence Referendum)
    they tend to be short-termist and they are very keen on U-turns (the Chancellor of the Exchequer specialises in them). In fact they often seem to go out of their way to create uncertainty. I was more surprised than I should have been by the way the government tried to rubbish the recent recommendation on MPs pay. It was precisely because there is never a ‘convenient’ time to increase MPs’ pay that a supposedly independent body was set up to make recommendations. But the moment that body did so, an interfering government made every effort to sabotage it. They simply can’t resist meddling. I think it was Desmond Donnelly, in his later, more market-oriented years, who used to advocate very long holidays indeed for all British politicians, preferably on faraway foreign islands. He always said that way they would be well worth their salaries!

  3. Posted 05/04/2016 at 21:36 | Permalink

    The 60% of median earnings figure is of course a perpetually moving target and commitment to it could produce many unforeseen problems in the medium term. And It’s a bigger problem even than you suggest. There are now people drawing serious attention to ethnicity pay gaps and demanding a similar policy push as for gender issues. Although less vocal so far, there are also those pointing to other pay gaps , eg disability and religion. You didn’t mention top pay either – the High Pay Centre and others would like to see an upper limit on CEO pay set as a multiple of the lowest-paid worker, and there are already restrictions of various sorts which limit companies’ freedom to fix executive pay. The force of politician-led public opinion now restricts salaries in the public and not-for-profit sectors and this may have undesirable results in time.
    The implication of all this is very worrying both for the economy and ultimately for personal freedom and responsibility.

  4. Posted 06/04/2016 at 11:13 | Permalink

    The author has ignored the obvious reason for the increases in the minimum wage. Many employers pay less than they can afford because they know their employees will receive benefits to bring their income up to a level they can live on. They also know that if they increase their employees low wages, those employees will not see much of the increase because they will lose benefits. A mandated minimum wage is not without problems but is it really better for the taxpayer to be subsidising pay directly?

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