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B341 - National Minimum Wage Rates Bill 2010 (Second Reading) Watch

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    (Original post by Smack)
    I don't believe that at all. More people would have jobs, and I'm sure I've seen statistics that say that people who have jobs are less likely to commit crime.
    Well that's counter-intuitive. Perhaps people who were thinking of commiting crimes to get by would be put off, but crime pays better than Minimum Wage. By reducing minimum wage, the people who were on minimum wage could suffer a loss in living standard, and turn to crime to recoup that loss.



    Well there's really no guarantee of anything in life other than death and taxes. But companies will be able to afford a larger workforce, which would in turn make things get done more efficiently and quickly.
    Well, let's not take the risk then.



    I think that the apprentice wage is fair, given that people are getting an education and a wage at the same time. Often, they'll come out with a college qualification as well as several years work experience, which makes them valuable to employers.
    Often, you'll find employers label their role as an apprenticeship, but in reality, it's not. I've been looking for jobs semi-recently, and you'd be surprised what people call an apprenticeship. Office assistant roles, telesales roles, things like that that pay £95 a week for full time hours.
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    (Original post by Mann18)
    Well that's counter-intuitive. Perhaps people who were thinking of commiting crimes to get by would be put off, but crime pays better than Minimum Wage.
    Crime can also pay better than most wages but that doesn't mean that my dad is going to quit his job and become a drugs dealer or a hitman.

    By reducing minimum wage, the people who were on minimum wage could suffer a loss in living standard, and turn to crime to recoup that loss.
    I don't believe that at all. Everyone who gets their wages cut experiences a loss in living standard, but yet they don't resort to crime. It's a bit patronising of you to assume that minimum wage workers will all make up the loss via criminal activities.

    Well, let's not take the risk then.
    I think there's a higher chance of companies using this opportunity to expand their workforce than there is of them just not doing anything.

    Often, you'll find employers label their role as an apprenticeship, but in reality, it's not. I've been looking for jobs semi-recently, and you'd be surprised what people call an apprenticeship. Office assistant roles, telesales roles, things like that that pay £95 a week for full time hours.
    Yes, the term is open to abuse, but low apprenticeship wages are vital in allowing small companies to recruit and train the next generation of technicians and machinists. I grew up in a small town with a very busy fishing port and the local shipyards were extremely important in getting local youths into the jobs market. They didn't have much money to spend but because they didn't have to pay individuals as high they could afford to take on a higher amount of apprentices. The same also applied to the local tradesmen.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Crime can also pay better than most wages but that doesn't mean that my dad is going to quit his job and become a drugs dealer or a hitman.
    Why would he take the risk when he has a job that gives him enough money to provide his family with basic needs ect? That's the issue at hand.

    I don't believe that at all. Everyone who gets their wages cut experiences a loss in living standard, but yet they don't resort to crime. It's a bit patronising of you to assume that minimum wage workers will all make up the loss via criminal activities.
    I'm not saying they all will, I'm saying there's a chance this will happen, or even, people who are entering employment will find the job doesn't pay well enough for it to be worth doing, and so they resort to crime.

    I think there's a higher chance of companies using this opportunity to expand their workforce than there is of them just not doing anything.
    But enough to make it worthwhile, we don't know.

    Yes, the term is open to abuse, but low apprenticeship wages are vital in allowing small companies to recruit and train the next generation of technicians and machinists. I grew up in a small town with a very busy fishing port and the local shipyards were extremely important in getting local youths into the jobs market. They didn't have much money to spend but because they didn't have to pay individuals as high they could afford to take on a higher amount of apprentices. The same also applied to the local tradesmen.
    Hmm. I would rather the term be permitted to be used only when strict conditions have been met then.
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    (Original post by Mann18)
    Well that's counter-intuitive. Perhaps people who were thinking of commiting crimes to get by would be put off, but crime pays better than Minimum Wage. By reducing minimum wage, the people who were on minimum wage could suffer a loss in living standard, and turn to crime to recoup that loss.
    I think it is a myth that poverty itself causes crime. Whilst there appears to be a correlation, the consistent conclusion is that crime causes poverty, not vice versa as is often falsely propagated.

    A large portion of people charged with criminal activity are relatively young. Their criminal behaviour results in a criminal record. Consequently, this hampers them in obtaining future employment prospects whilst they spend time in the criminal justice system when they could have been gaining education, employment, training or any other qualitative experience. As a result, many develop a criminal lifestyle which condemn themselves to a life of poverty.

    Unless you are lucky enough to be the head of the mafia within the criminal underworld, crime most certainly does not pay for the vast majority of those that commit it.
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    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    I think it is a myth that poverty itself causes crime. Whilst there appears to be a correlation, the consistent conclusion is that crime causes poverty, not vice versa as is often falsely propagated.

    A large portion of people charged with criminal activity are relatively young. Their criminal behaviour results in a criminal record. Consequently, this hampers them in obtaining future employment prospects whilst they spend time in the criminal justice system when they could have been gaining education, employment, training or any other qualitative experience. As a result, many develop a criminal lifestyle which condemn themselves to a life of poverty.

    Unless you are lucky enough to be the head of the mafia within the criminal underworld, crime most certainly does not pay for the vast majority of those that commit it.
    I agree that that may contribute, but I reject that it is the sole cause.

    I don't live in a great area, and the people around where I live that engage in criminal activities do so due to a lack of qualifications/opportunities primarily. I recognise that crime won't pay as well as an accountancy job, but more than a job stacking shelves at Tesco? Definitely.
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    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    I think it is a myth that poverty itself causes crime. Whilst there appears to be a correlation, the consistent conclusion is that crime causes poverty, not vice versa as is often falsely propagated.

    I'm sorry but I just do not accept this at all. Nor the foggy and rather vauge argument in that article you link to. Your chicken/egg point above is also pretty flaccid. The fact remains that the vast majority of criminal activity occurs in areas of relative poverty. Now, unless you are trying to argue that crime is the sole cause of relative poverty, or even a significant factor it simply does not work. Poverty has far more quantifiable causes than that. Thus one is led quite logically to the conclusion that relative poverty and inequality are large and obvious factors when considering the causes of crime. A recent and extensive study on this topic was chronicled in the Spirit Level, the attempted refutations of which have been spittle flecked and insufficient.

    A large portion of people charged with criminal activity are relatively young. Their criminal behaviour results in a criminal record. Consequently, this hampers them in obtaining future employment prospects whilst they spend time in the criminal justice system when they could have been gaining education, employment, training or any other qualitative experience. As a result, many develop a criminal lifestyle which condemn themselves to a life of poverty.

    That does not explain why they commit crime, nor why crime could be construed as a cause of poverty. You are either arguing that these individuals should not be punished, or that the state should regulate the market to ensure that oppurtunities exist for those who have a criminal record and that they should not eb discriminated against.

    Unless you are lucky enough to be the head of the mafia within the criminal underworld, crime most certainly does not pay for the vast majority of those that commit it.
    Unfortunately it is the desperation of relative poverty that forces many into crime whether directly or indirectly. Understandable to be honest, why should one play by rules designed to protect the abhorrent iniquity of modern society?

    But anyway this is all beside the point. I will raise the same question I did for your other bill which went unanswered. How will you stop this fall in the NMW being a huge disincentive to work given the existence of the PAA? Disincentive to work is an argument often levelled at the pathetic sums paid out by our contemporary welfare state, existing TSR HoC legislation goes above and beyond this.
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    There are some positives in this bill, like the more gradual increase in minimum wage, year on year, rather than a suddent jump.

    But for the very fact this bill reduces the amount people earn, sometimes by cutting as much as 28% off what they earn, when they are already some of our lowest earners, then there is not a chance I can support this.

    How anyone can try and justify cutting the lowest earners wages by 28% is beyond me. It's a disgrace.
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    The fact remains that the vast majority of criminal activity occurs in areas of relative poverty. Now, unless you are trying to argue that crime is the sole cause of relative poverty, or even a significant factor it simply does not work. Poverty has far more quantifiable causes than that. Thus one is led quite logically to the conclusion that relative poverty and inequality are large and obvious factors when considering the causes of crime. A recent and extensive study on this topic was chronicled in the Spirit Level, the attempted refutations of which have been spittle flecked and insufficient.
    The fact remains that the vast majority of criminal activity occurs in areas of relative poverty, but not that relative poverty causes criminal activity to occur in those areas. You simply cannot infer cause and effect. Otherwise are you really naive enough to logically conclude that crime rates would fall if we did happen to redistribute all wealth with people's consent equally between everyone?

    The cause of poverty is of course not attributable solely to crime. I am not here to explain why people commit crime. But I am here to correct any juvenile analysis of the phenomenon: it is a fundamental myth to suggest that relative poverty and inequality is the major cause of crime. The issue is indeed far more complicated than that.

    The recent study in the Spirit Level is extensive nonsense. The authors are fond of claiming that their work is backed up by 100s of peer-reviewed studies. In a recent letter to The Guardian, for example, they once again referred to "hundreds of other academic research papers which show similar patterns."

    Do not be fooled. Very few of the studies referenced in The Spirit Level claim that health or social problems are caused by income inequality per se (as opposed to absolute income or other socio-economic factors). Of the few that do make such a case, many were written by Richard Wilkinson and/or Kate Pickett (they refer to no fewer than twelve of their own studies in The Spirit Level).

    The bulk of the references are to newspaper articles, opinion pieces, other people's books, studies that discuss specific issues (eg. stress, violence, obesity) and the sources of the raw data (eg. UN, OECD). Often the studies referenced give equivocal support or contradict W & P (see Questions 4 & 7, for examples). The only area which has a significant body of scientific literature is health and inequality, and much of it disagrees with Wilkinson's hypothesis. As Wilkinson admitted in a recent interview with the magazine International Socialism, there is virtually no evidence from other academics to support the bulk of the claims made in The Spirit Level.

    Although The Spirit Level has launched their theories into the popular consciousness, they find little support in the scientific literature. It is no surprise, then, that their book has received a much cooler reception from academics (see below) than from ex-politicians and journalists.

    "Wilkinson and Pickett have no time for nicely balanced judgements. They believe that the evidence they present shows beyond doubt that more equal societies ‘do better’, and they are also confident that they have the right explanation for why this is so... Their case is by no means so securely established as they try to make out... it has been called into question by other leading figures in the field – a fact that WP might have more fully acknowledged... WP’s inadequate, one-dimensional understanding of social stratification leads to major problems in their account of how the contextual effect is produced."

    — John Goldthorpe, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Nuffield College, Oxford; ‘Analysing social inequality’ European Sociological Review, 2009

    "The book will probably irritate most economists, including those like me who are sympathetic to its basic stance... source of irritation is the authors’ apparent belief that the application of regression methods to economic and social statistics is as novel to social science as it apparently is to medicine. The evidence presented in the book is mostly a series of scatter diagrams with a regression line drawn through them. If you remove the bold lines from the diagram, the pattern of points mostly looks random, and the data dominated by a few outliers... An obvious conclusion is that there are many societies which perform well in terms of their own criteria. America, Sweden and Japan are just different from each other. Their achievements are not really commensurable. But Wilkinson and Pickett are not content with this relativist position."

    — John Kay, former Director of Institute of Fiscal Studies and Professor of Economics at London Business School, Financial Times 2009


    (Original post by RK)
    There are some positives in this bill, like the more gradual increase in minimum wage, year on year, rather than a suddent jump.

    But for the very fact this bill reduces the amount people earn, sometimes by cutting as much as 28% off what they earn, when they are already some of our lowest earners, then there is not a chance I can support this.

    How anyone can try and justify cutting the lowest earners wages by 28% is beyond me. It's a disgrace.
    The global economic crisis has hit the youth unemployment rate which is expected to stay at a high level over the next two years and so many unemployed youth are likely to experience a prolonged period of joblessness.

    The OECD published a report explaining that countries could alleviate youth unemployment by lowering the cost of employing low-skilled youth. One way this could be done is by lowering the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as this Bill provides.
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    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    The fact remains that the vast majority of criminal activity occurs in areas of relative poverty, but not that relative poverty causes criminal activity to occur in those areas. You simply cannot infer cause and effect. Otherwise are you really naive enough to logically conclude that crime rates would fall if we did happen to redistribute all wealth with people's consent equally between everyone?
    But that is exactly what you are doing. Or did you not state that crime causes poverty. That ridiculous notion is utterly eliminated when one considers the facts in a logical manner.

    Your latter point is exactly what I conclude, in fact the study I directed to you reveals, through a vast amount of data that countries with higher levels of equality have far lower levels of crime. The theory is still relatively consistent even on a state by state basis in the USA.

    How would you explain away the frankly immense levels of crime committed on a daily basis bearing in mind what our per capita GDP is? Because it obviously isn't survival is it?

    Or are you of the opinion that all these hundreds of thousands of individuals are just inherently inclined that way?

    The recent study in the Spirit Level is extensive nonsense.

    Yes yes yes, all of the various 'refutations' have been addressed extensively here http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/reso...e-to-questions I would recommend you actually read it and formulate you own opinions and arguments rather than let others do this for you. Throwing acusations such as naive at me and then fatuously parroting the views of select individuals who are your way inclined is not very becoming.

    Also, you seem to misinformed. The analysis itself is peer reviewed not just its sources.

    As well as having subjected our analyses to peer review; our research has also been funded at various times by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council, and
    Department of Health, as well as by the US National Institute of Health, all of whom subject research proposals to rigorous review. Our critics seem not only to be unaware of the vast public health literature in this area (particularly recent work) but also of the work of many sociologists, economists and other academics
    http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/docs...to-snowdon.pdf
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    Aeolus, in response to your concerns that the PAA discourages people from working, I don't think lowering the NMW would exacerbate this effect. People choose to work for many reasons, not least to increase their standard of living. It was the previous system that discourages people from working.

    It is not necessarily the case that everyone will now be paid the new lower NMW. However, having a guaranteed safety net and no compulsion under the PAA means that people can be more cautious about the work they do in comparison to the pay and rewards they receive from the potential employer. Employers will still be forced to find an equilibrium between attracting enough interest, but being able to lower their costs.

    (Original post by Aeolus)
    But that is exactly what you are doing. Or did you not state that crime causes poverty. That ridiculous notion is utterly eliminated when one considers the facts in a logical manner.

    Your latter point is exactly what I conclude, in fact the study I directed to you reveals, through a vast amount of data that countries with higher levels of equality have far lower levels of crime. The theory is still relatively consistent even on a state by state basis in the USA.

    How would you explain away the frankly immense levels of crime committed on a daily basis bearing in mind what our per capita GDP is? Because it obviously isn't survival is it?

    Or are you of the opinion that all these hundreds of thousands of individuals are just inherently inclined that way?
    Yes, I have in fact said that crime causes poverty. What I should have said, however, was that whilst there is a link between poverty and crime, it is more likely that poverty follows as a result of crime as opposed to crime resulting from poverty. I then explained this point, the purpose of which was to illustrate precisely how we cannot simply infer that poverty causes crime.

    It is you who claims that we can conclude in a 'logical manner' that cause and effect can easily and factually be inferred. The juvenile view is that poor people will commit crime by the very fact that they are poor. The fact of the matter is that not everyone who is poor commits crime. Can you not see from this logic then that poverty cannot be the cause of crime? There are two scenarios here. Remember we are discussing relative poverty here. Now, which do you think is most likely when considering the issue in a logical manner?






    As I said, I do not know what causes crime. Experts have been trying to do this years and they still can't figure out a coherent explanation as to what causes crime. So I cannot offer you an alternative account as you've requested. What we do know is that there are is a multitude of factors that increase the propensity to commit crime. The point that poverty actually causes crime is incredibly superlative.

    (Original post by Aeolus)
    Yes yes yes, all of the various 'refutations' have been addressed extensively here http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/reso...e-to-questions I would recommend you actually read it and formulate you own opinions and arguments rather than let others do this for you. Throwing acusations such as naive at me and then fatuously parroting the views of select individuals who are your way inclined is not very becoming.

    Also, you seem to misinformed. The analysis itself is peer reviewed not just its sources.

    As well as having subjected our analyses to peer review; our research has also been funded at various times by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council, and
    Department of Health, as well as by the US National Institute of Health, all of whom subject research proposals to rigorous review. Our critics seem not only to be unaware of the vast public health literature in this area (particularly recent work) but also of the work of many sociologists, economists and other academics
    http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/docs...to-snowdon.pdf
    The refutations of the study that is The Spirit Level have not been addressed. It still remains a thoroughly discredited piece of work. I believe cognitive dissonance is causing you to ignore all of the extensive critique. Rather than re-write the points made, I can only direct you to the Spirit Level Delusion blog which, in my opinion, leaves a lot of questions begging of this theory that inequality is the root cause of crime and other ills in society.
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    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    In response to Eru's point raised here that those on the minimum wage would be taxed at 37% according to TSR Poverty Abolition Act 2010 (PAA), I should clarify that this is not correct. Although the PAA declares that "All income above the calculated minimum shall be taxed at thirty-seven pence in the pound", this does not mean that there is no longer a Personal Income Tax Allowance exempt from Income Tax.

    Whilst the PAA does not explicitly mention this, the figures used to quantify the cost of the Bill were based on the assumption that a Personal Income Tax Allowance would remain. Therefore you can be rest assured that despite the ostensible anomaly, anyone working for the minimum wage under this new Bill for a couple of hours would most definitely not earn enough to pay 37 pence in the pound towards Income Tax.
    If this is the case, then i would ask that this be stated specifically with the level at which personal income tax applies as an amending clause in this bill, so that such interpretation can't be made.
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    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    Aeolus, in response to your concerns that the PAA discourages people from working, I don't think lowering the NMW would exacerbate this effect. People choose to work for many reasons, not least to increase their standard of living. It was the previous system that discourages people from working.

    It's a rather foggy explanation to be honest. How exactly won't this discourage people from working given the existence of the PAA?


    Yes, I have in fact said that crime causes poverty. What I should have said, however, was that whilst there is a link between poverty and crime, it is more likely that poverty follows as a result of crime as opposed to crime resulting from poverty. I then explained this point, the purpose of which was to illustrate precisely how we cannot simply infer that poverty causes crime.
    No you did not. You explained one possible effect of the criminal justice system. That is completely inadequate when considering the levels of poverty and crime in the United Kingdom.

    What you are basically implying is that all of those living in relative poverty, or at least the majority of them have been involved with crime and the criminal justice system. There are thriteen and a half million people living below the low income threshold in this country and six million living below the 40% of median income threshold.

    Even if we were to half those figures it would still be an exceptional amount of citizens who are and have been involved in crime by any stretch of the imagination. Now, I agree with the point you bring up about the justice system. But to try and explain away the startling correlation between poverty and crime with it is rather absurd and sounds, if anything like a way to further justify poverty.





    As I said, I do not know what causes crime.

    But you do seem to think you know what doesn't cause crime. :lolwut:


    The refutations of the study that is The Spirit Level have not been addressed. It still remains a thoroughly discredited piece of work. I believe cognitive dissonance is causing you to ignore all of the extensive critique. Rather than re-write the points made, I can only direct you to the Spirit Level Delusion blog which, in my opinion, leaves a lot of questions begging of this theory that inequality is the root cause of crime and other ills in society.

    Once again you completely ignore my point about you having not read it and forge on parroting the opinions of others. I would and have made sure to read alot of the tripe coming out of the far right so I can at least have some substance to my arguments.

    Judging by your above post you obviously didn't even check the links I provided you. Because if you did, you would realise that all major 'refutations' of the Spirit Level have been addressed in their own individual pdfs quite meticulously.

    Also, I think the fact you provide a blog as conclusive refutation to a peer reviewed study without having read it yourself says everything about the quality of your argument.
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    Aelous, I did check the links. Judging by your posts, however, you didn't check the link I provided. Otherwise if you had, you would have noticed that the major refutations were not addressed as much as you had hoped. They are pre-dated. In other words, what you claim has been addressed has actually been refuted even further.

    I do not mean to imply that all people in poverty are so because they committed crime. That is of course nonsense! But where people try to claim that criminals commit crime because they are poor, this is a moot point. The better explanation is that their criminality causes them to live a life of poverty (if they were not already) or ensures that they stay in a life of poverty.
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    I’ll be voting against this bill because I don’t think the minimum wage should be linked to inflation so directly. The Low Pay Commission I believe does a brilliant job working out what the best rate should be through their in depth research and communications with all parties (I bet half of you didn't even know who they were).

    It’s not just about a family being able to afford the new price of milk next year; it’s about much more than that.
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    This is in cessation.
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    This has gone to vote, here.
 
 
 
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