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Why is everyone in the UK so underpaid?

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    (Original post by fallen_acorns)
    60,000 canadian dollars = 30,000 british pounds, pre-brexit. I would suggest its a stretch to say that is 'shockingly higher' then the UK teachers wage you quoted originally (Which as you will see below, is an incorrect figure and comparison to make)

    I am not disputing that people in england are paid worse then other countries - thats pretty common knowledge.. more so that your wage comparisons are a bit out due to two reasons, 1 - the devaluation of UK currency has caused us to compare badly within the last decade (55 thousand canadain dollars used to be 23 thousand pounds and was a similar amount for most of our recent history, before the financial crisis) This is terrible, but not as incomparably so as it would first appear when you just compare two simple numbers with little context. And the second that your comparing a locaised public sector that is almost being run as a if it were a private sector in one country, with a very depressed public sector another country.

    The UK's public sector has been dire for decades now - and in the UK, all the jobs you listed and wages public sector.

    What you need to always remember though is that our private sector is much more competitive and hugely outperforms the public sector in the UK. Especually under tory goverments..

    Acording to a 2014 report, the average wage for a qualified UK teacher is 38,000 pounds.. (worth noting this is significantly higher then the 23,000 you mentioned earlier, which is only 1k above the baseline, and passed by most teachers easily within their careers). Private schools however report a third of teachers earning between 40-60,000 a year. Both numbers were almost spot on comparisons to your canadian statistics pre-brexit, and have only now became worse due to the fall in our currency.

    All in all its not your point that I take issue with. its spot on, and common knowledge: In the UK, public sector workers are underpaid, especially compared to many other developed countries..

    What I take issue with is your comparisons and use of data, which makes the issue look far more exaggerated then it actually is, and whether it is down to oversight or bias, you have managed to manipulate the numbers to make canada look far better then it actually is. You need to put far more context around the bare bones of the numbers, and understand how both countries work.. then it becomes pretty clear why right now it can look pretty bad for the UK.
    Good research and well-referenced examples :top:
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    1) Teacher salaries in the UK are higher than you suggest. Teachers unions and media outlets such as the Guardian make them out to be artificially low in order to further a political agenda. In reality, the average teacher in England earns £37,000. Its not a fortune and it certainly isnt enough to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle given modern living costs in the UK, but its higher than the £25k numbers which get banded around that focus only on junior teachers and ignore supplementary payments and the salaries of senior (often non-classroom) teachers.

    2) Taxation in the UK is through the roof. Remember that employers are paying 14% National Insurance on your gross salary before it even reaches your pay check. As such, all salaries in the UK would be around 10-15% higher if it wasnt for this stealth taxation. There are also a lot of other costs associated with hiring people in the UK (need to provide maternity leave, holiday pay, etc) which dont exist in the US. This is basic economics - when the government forces employers to provide a non-salary benefit, then salaries must necessarily drop as a result to accommodate the cost. Without all these various "benefits", salaries would be 20-25% higher easily.

    3) The UK is essentially a 2nd world country these days, so its unrealistic to compare it to first world countries like the US/Australia/Swizerland/etc where people are much, much richer. It makes more sense to compare the UK to other 2nd world countries such as Poland/Italy/etc, where it comes out reasonably well. The UK used to be first world, but decades of misguided left wing policy, taxation, and welfare have more or less destroyed the middle class. On the other hand, the bottom 10% in the Uk gets a lot more free government money than the bottom 10% in the US. The UK is an amazing place to be very poor or very rich, its only the 80% of people in the middle who get screwed.

    4) Dont even consider moving to the UK unless you have substantial family money which can help you out with housing/etc. If you were born in the US/Canada, why on earth would you even consider moving to England? Stick to the first world, and leave the UK to rot in socialist hell.
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    All I can say is the over-riding message of your analysis is correct. Even in the private sector, pay is fairly appalling unless you are at a very senior level. And in fact, it has not increased much over the last couple of decades adjusted for inflation.

    Once you factor in house prices and the cost of living in the UK, it really brings home just how bad the salaries are. In addition, after you've paid a huge premium for everything, the housing is extremely cramped and transport infrastructure is horrendously overcrowded.

    In answer to how people are getting by, I personally don't spend very much money on anything other than necessities. People with families in the UK are generally in debt and heavily reliant on credit to survive.

    For whatever reason, people in the UK are willing to work for these poor salaries and do not complain. I think people should demand higher wages. The government welfare system also provides an incentive for employers to keep salaries low. Tax is also extremely high in the UK even for what would be considered middle earners (although middle earners are really quite poor too).

    I would not recommend moving to the UK unless you are earning six figures or more, or have significant savings to use. You'll be disappointed by the quality of life you can afford otherwise, if any.

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    There's no such thing as underpaying, it's all supply and demand. Businesses should be able to pay their employees as much or as little as they like.
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    (Original post by #ChaosKass)
    There's no such thing as underpaying, it's all supply and demand. Businesses should be able to pay their employees as much or as little as they like.
    Thats an incredibly superficial analysis. The question is what economic factors cause salaries in one country to be systematiclaly lower than salaries in another country.

    Supply/demand explains salaries in particular occupations (ie a shortage of people with skill X will raise the salaries of those with skill X) but it doesnt explain economy-wide salary differences, other than in an extremely generic way.
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    You also have to compare the real costs of living in each country. I don't know how much property costs to rent/buy in Ontario, but I'm guessing it's less compared to salaries than in the UK. That makes the nurses pay worth even less here. I'm guessing food is cheaper in Canada as well.
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    Notice how the OP is quite sneakily using Canadian dollars to GBP, and not using the same currency to compare.
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    (Original post by poohat)
    Thats an incredibly superficial analysis. The question is what economic factors cause salaries in one country to be systematiclaly lower than salaries in another country.

    Supply/demand explains salaries in particular occupations (ie a shortage of people with skill X will raise the salaries of those with skill X) but it doesnt explain economy-wide salary differences, other than in an extremely generic way.
    No point trying to argue with her/him/whatever it is.
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    We are not underpaid our economy is just not as good same as Russian or poland
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    (Original post by karl pilkington)
    We are not underpaid our economy is just not as good same as Russian or poland
    Russia and Poland dont write £20k/year welfare cheques to everyone with children who earns minimum wage, causing there to be essentially zero difference between earning £10,000 a year and £40,000 a year once you have a family (the difference after tax is less than £3k)

    The UK economy isnt bad as such, there is just an astonishingly high degree of income transfer compared to most other countries, and the overall effect is that unless you are in the bottom 10-20% of society, your living standards will be much, much lower than someone in the US/Australia/etc working the same job.

    The UK basically decided it was fine to drastically lower the living standards of the top 80-90% of people in order to support the bottom 10-20%. The US made different choices.
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    So when you say 'everyone' what you mean is a narrow band of public sector employees?
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    So when you say 'everyone' what you mean is a narrow band of public sector employees?
    Private sector salaries are also substantially lower in the UK. Probably the biggest disparity is tech, where Silicon Valley firms typically pay fresh grads $100-130k in the US, compared to £30-35k in the UK. Its similar in most fields though, even if not the same extremes - management consultancy is around $80-90k starting in the US compared to (I think) about £35-40k in the UK. Investment banking is about $80k (pre-bonus) in the US, and about £40-45k in the UK. Academia (university lecturers) are $80-110k in most fields, compared to £38-45k in the UK. Etc etc
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    cus the immigrants took our jobs!!!
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    Anyone can google and convert the currency it still isn't even nearly the same...

    Also yes cost of living in Ontario is significantly less than England as a whole. Housing prices have increased lately but you still get way more space and a larger home for the same prices, taxes are lower (sales tax is 13%), food is way cheaper, FUEL IS WAY CHEAPER (88 cents to 1.15 a litre), income taxes are lower, education costs are lower, standard of living is higher, general entertainment costs are cheaper

    Just a quick example I went to see a movie recently and was shocked at the cost

    england odeon theatre 1 ticket : £9.25

    ontario cineplex odeon 1 ticket: $12.95

    BRUH
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    So when you say 'everyone' what you mean is a narrow band of public sector employees?
    Working in the public sector in Canada is actually highly regarded, public sector employees have higher job security, better benefits, better pensions etc


    Even doctors are underpaid in the UK compared to North America. My brother in law is an orthosurgeon and he makes $500 000 a year
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    How are people surviving on wages like that in a country like this.
    In most cases, relatively easily.

    Perhaps you could ask why wages are so inflated in Canada?
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    Don't get why you're complaining so much OP. You've come here of your own free will, for - what did you say, four years? - and you're going to go home and make your Big Bucks with the knowledge you've taken from here. You complain and ***** but at the end of the day the rest of us who actually hive here and will probably die here just get on with our lives.

    There's more important things than money.
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    • Greater supply of labour relative to intra-generationally inelastic demand for labour (thanks to mass immigration)
    • Too many public sector workers employed by a state now seriously in the red
    • Relatively ineffectual labour unions
    • Higher levels of employment
    • Lower barriers to entry
    • Currency depreciation
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    Working in the public sector in Canada is actually highly regarded, public sector employees have higher job security, better benefits, better pensions etc


    Even doctors are underpaid in the UK compared to North America. My brother in law is an orthosurgeon and he makes $500 000 a year
    Doctors wages are far more uniform here, though. An consultant anaesthetist earns the same NHS salary as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. Although, when you consider the average consultant salary is £89,000 ($150,000), the disparity between the two countries is evident.
 
 
 
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