Living wage

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The papers are rife with Welfare Reform, with The Government bleating and waxing lyrical about how it pays to work and they want to encourage more people into living without benefits.  However, we need to ask ourselves, do they really?  I think not.  They want it so we're working yet still to some extent dependent on welfare for the easiest route to controlling people is financially, making them financially dependent on you gives you ultimate control over them.

To have financial independence from them would deplete their control over us so they're being tactical, having us believe they're offering us freedom yet what it really is is just conditional independence riddled with threats and implications.

If they truly wanted people to have financial independence and be able to sustain a quality of life through work alone there are two main things they could implement:

1. Introduce a living wage.  The minimum wage in the current economic climate with the ever increasing rise in cost of basic living simply fails to sustain a person or family.  However it does qualify them to claim working tax credits to top up a wage to enable a person/family to be able to sustain a quality of life.  Through ensuring the minimum wage alone isn't enough, they're taxing you for working on one hand yet giving you money with another to keep you dependent on them and under their control and subject to their ever increasing rigid conditionalities.  Sneaky bastards.

2. Scrap the abhorrent slight to Human Rights that is WorkFare.  If there is a job available, employ somebody to do it and give them the appropriate wage which they can then be taxed on and spent thus helping to renew the economy and move off of benefits.  Yet the government would rather give companies cash incentives to take on workfare staff to do a job for free thus exploiting the unemployed whilst offering them no real benefit let alone an actual job at the end of it. If you're going to mandate people into temporary work, temporarily pay them the actual wage!

Obviously there are many more things that could be added to his list, perhaps I'll bore you with them some other time.  I try and keep clear of politics on here but sometimes....things just need to be said.


  1. Agree with the first point, minimum wage is (in most cases) nowhere near enough to live on. The job I've just got would be financially a waste of time doing without tax credits to top up my wage - and to be fair I'm going to be much better off than I have been on benefits solely, but I'm still going to be relying on them to top it up.

    As for workfare, I was DEAD against it when they sent me on the programme for 8 weeks. As far as I'm concerned, being a good parent is a full time job, and I felt like I was being punished for my circumstances - ie being a single mother.

    However, it turned out to be brilliant. TBG Learning, the provider I was placed with only sends people to not-for-profit organisations, which I didn't know and that's the reason a week before I started I got myself a voluntary place at Save the Children. I wanted to go in on my first day (to the provider) and say 'you're not sending me to Argos/B&Q/Asda to work for free when everyone else is getting paid, I've got a place at Save the Children.'

    But they were happy I'd sorted it out already (saved them a job I suppose) and although my 3 hours a week there doing a supervised job search were mainly pointless, it ended up being a lot less painful than I had anticipated.

    Once the 8 week programme had finished, I stayed on at Save the Children and my manager trained me up as a Day Leader, which meant more responsibility, supervising other volunteers, answering the phone, organising collections etc - and my confidence soared. A lovely bloke from TBG completely re-did my CV and included all these new skills I'd learned and those I'd refreshed, and a few months later I've finally got a job.

    So I think it has helped. I know in Derbyshire the budget given to these providers was £2 million - and for every person who completes the 8 week programme (like myself) the provider is paid £1,000. Now obviously it would have been better if I had been paid that money, as a wage, for the hours I've put in. Would have given my self esteem a massive boost. But the government pay the providers.

    I deal with people on workfare now, we're still taking on new volunteers but personally I interview each one before saying yes or no (ie I don't just say yes to everyone because they're not all suitable) and have shared experiences with them all about my time on the programme. We all tend to agree it's shit, but can end up being valuable if you do what I did and just roll your sleeves up and get on with it. It does have a positive impact on people's CV's - I've had a few different jobs before having Tom, mostly retail, but the most recent one was over 8 years ago. An employer only has to glance at that and say 'no'. Why would they take a risk employing me when they've got a hundred people with recent or current experience?

    I've ended up working with a great bunch of people, got quite a bit of my old self back as I'm feeling much more confident (I know you know that your world shrinks when you become a SAHM. I struggled a lot to mix with people at first) and I'm on the first step to a new career, eventually I hope I'll have enough hours to not need tax credits.


  2. It is sneaky take take with one hand and offer the illusion of giving you a helping hand with the other.
    Notice how they are also lowering the quality of life via bedroom tax to give the illusion of working making you better off too?
    Who sets the minimum amount the law says you have to live on? They do! and believe me when I say they will snatch it back any way they can.
    Your birth certificate has a number for a reason. YOU are a commodity from the day you are born until the day you die x

  3. Sneaky Bastards indeed.
    Take with one hand - offer the illusion of help with the other.
    There is a minimum amount set by law you can live on and they must keep you above that. The bedroom tax makes no sense whatsoever. It is by its very nature an illegal tax made plucked from the air as they weren't able to lower housing benefit directly.
    Workfare is even worse. really Hilton Hotels are that hard up they cannot take on actual staff? Grosvener Casino's?Funny how they cut peblic sector jobs and now you can even end up on a workfare scheme with your local council too.
    Nice x


I love receiving comments so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately, in order to avoid that pesky captcha I've activated comment moderation instead so as soon as i'm online i'll publish your comment :)

If you like the blog feel free to link it on your page.

All content by L Seddon / MamaUndone | (© Copyright 2015) Design by Studio Mommy (© Copyright 2015)