This is all about profit
ALERT: WHAT FOLLOWS IS A SERIOUS POST
Back on 1 April 1999, Britain saw the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. From then on all adults were to be paid at least £3.60 an hour and workers under the age of 22 no less than £3 an hour. Doesn’t sound a lot right?
But at the election and following that time, the business federations, including the British Chambers of Commerce were up in arms. They said that the introduction of a minimum wage would cost jobs. They argued that most small businesses were paying well over the minimum wage anyway. This was crap.
At the time I worked for a company which was part of the FTSE 100. We were employing people for as little as 96p per hour in some places. Overnight, they saw their earnings rise nearly four fold. We didn’t lay people off; we just took less profit as did our clients. These people were already doing the work of two – how could you have any less? The people who clean your offices, that wash your plates, that make your coffee, that clean your streets. The people you don’t see.
I was also at that self-same organisation when the Working Time Directive was introduced, meaning for the very first time in their lives, some of these workers were entitled to paid annual leave. The Tory party at that time and David Cameron were both against these pieces of legislation which they claimed would cost jobs. David Cameron voted against the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. You can see a list of other Tories that did so here.
Why do I mention this?
Yesterday morning, I heard a representative from the British Chamber of Commerce on the radio talking about a survey of their members and touching on the Government’s proposed increase to the National Insurance rates. Spookily reminiscent of David Cameron, he referred to it as a, “Tax on Jobs”. The same old arguments are being rolled out that were rolled out 10 years ago despite unemployment falling to some of the lowest post war levels AFTER the introduction of the minimum wage.
Let’s be really clear. These measures don’t cost jobs, they cost profits. And that is what they are really complaining about. Regardless of who wins the election there will be job losses – mainly in the Public Sector. They won’t be caused by increases in National Insurance but the fact that government expenditure is exceeding income and the National Debt is growing. In order to deal with that you either have to cut costs or raise taxes.
Every time you hear the phrase “Tax on jobs”, remember this isn’t about protecting your employment, this isn’t about your rights, this isn’t about standing up for the ordinary person. This is about protecting their own interests.
Tax on jobs? My arse. This is all about profit.