Think the UK is 'low pay' and 'high taxes'? Think again. Watch

MagicNMedicine
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A lot of people like to take as a default position the idea that 'rip off Britain' is a land of low wages and high taxes.

But in terms of international comparisons this is just not true.

Amongst OECD countries, in 2012 the UK was the third highest in take home pay (after tax deductions) from average earnings when adjusted for price levels in each country (in other words so your purchasing power is the same from one country to another)

In US dollars, the top ten are

1. Switzerland $50,945
2. Korea $41,117
3. United Kingdom $39,572
4. Luxembourg $39,112
5. Norway $39,080
6. Netherlands $37,868
7. Australia $37,169
8. USA $36,819
9. Japan $36,307
10. Germany $33,683

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=AWCOMP

Whilst real wage growth in the UK has been flat for the past few years, we had enjoyed a long period of very strong wage growth, from the 1980s until 2010 we had pretty much constant strong wage growth before its tailed off since then.

Also in recent years we have seen a move towards lower tax rates at the basic rate (this is about take home pay from average earnings so top rates won't come in to it), and especially in the last few years, rises in the income tax threshold so you can earn more before you start paying tax.

A lot of other countries have higher tax burdens for average earners and most Western economies have quite a high cost of living too - the UK is not out of the ordinary in terms of prices.
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danny111
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I would put forth though that the UK is rather distorted given the fact that quite many in London raise that average up.
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DarkWhite
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Not to dispute the claim entirely, but does tax include NI?

Surely it also needs to be taken in the context of the cost of living. Switzerland and the UK are rather expensive, but Germany isn't so costly.

Lots of cost-of-living and CPI sources.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...by_country.jsp
http://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/index

I'm not an economist mind, so excuse any ignorance :p:
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danny111
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OP did say it's adjusted for price levels.
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creak
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(Original post by danny111)
I would put forth though that the UK is rather distorted given the fact that quite many in London raise that average up.
I was thinking this. Pay for the highest tier of earners has sky-rocketed while pay for those at the bottom has pretty much flatlined for years. Figures by quartile/quantile or the median wage instead of the average would be quite helpful.
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The_Internet
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(Original post by Voltozonic)
Britain is a rip off for a significant amount of people - especially the younger generation.

People are spending between 21-24 years of their lives in education, getting into debt and then coming out the other side with no money and no guarantee of getting a job. Even if you do get a job, unless you're lucky it'll likely be under £18,000 a year (for a grad job). In which case loads of it goes to Tax and NI, you buy a car to get to work and spend

?

http://targetjobs.co.uk/career-secto...t-in-an-it-job

I know of friends who earn 18K in their placement year (Though they are in London, and when you consider the extortionate cost of rent, they're only about £500 better off)

Though this might just be the IT industry perhaps
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The_Internet
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(Original post by Voltozonic)
I'm in Wales so i do guess it's different here. But i only know of a few people who ended up getting grad jobs over £18,000 a year.

But yeah, the ones which I do know of are perhaps on £23k-£25k but everyone of them is in London, so they may aswell be elsewhere and earn £18k.
That depends on your industry ie: I was looking here:
http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/graduate?...%2C1644%2C1642

And I saw this job:
http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/it-operat...%2C1644%2C1642

If you get a one bedroom flat to yourself, you're looking at say £400/month on rent. If you're willing to share, then you're probably looking at £200 - £300/month on rent
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danny111
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Also, the US is 8th on this list, but only recently I saw a news piece how McDonald's encourages its employees to have a second job because they know you can't survive on just their McD's wage.
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Martyn*
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Low pay and high taxes is the reality for many people in the north-west of England. Why compare with other countries? It is all relative anyway. We wouldn't compare children in poverty in England to children in poverty in parts of Ethiopea.
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The_Internet
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(Original post by Voltozonic)
The one in Stafford (second link) doesn't look like a graduate job to me.

£400 a month ? is that in Stafford too ?

Add bills on top of it and you're easily looking at £500-550 a month. Then buy a car, insure it at an age of 21-22 as a graduate under your own name and pay to run it and you don't end up with very much left over considering the first link job.
It certainly looks like one to me, as it says " Training will be given but a base knowledge is needed of networking and support of windows systems at 1st / 2nd Line level is essential. ie: Stuff you learn at uni, and stuff on there I learn at uni and placement

Also, I LIVE in Stafford (Well not now, I'm on placement) and rent costs me £272/month, bills on top say another £40/month. Car insurance is cheaper there than in the north (by quite a lot) and bear in mind that this job in Staffordshire is probably more likely to be in Stoke than Stafford, because Stafford is pretty small, and more companies are likelier to be in Stoke. Stoke is also cheaper to live in.

If you're paying £150/month on bills on a single person, then well you're going wrong somewhere. It would be cheaper for you to take out the offending appliances, and replace them with ones that don't use so much power, if it's costing you £150/month for a single person in bills

£400/month in Stafford is if you literally just lived in a one bedroom house

I can live in Stafford for around 5K a year without a car. Around 6 - 7K/year with a car

This one for example, even says the word graduate in the title:
http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/it-suppor...%2C1644%2C1642

Junior role here (ie: graduate kinda role):

http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/junior-li...%2C1644%2C1642

Stuff you learn in a placement year can be transferred here:
http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/3rd-line-...%2C1644%2C1642

So not bad going I guess.Also, one of my friends went for an interview at a company in Leeds who were offering 17K/year. He turned them down for something else, but as a placement in Leeds that's pretty good going. Of course this isn't the norm, but still....
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