This Is Working As Intended, Surely?

High childcare costs are leaving parents who work full time at the national minimum wage thousands of pounds a year short of being able to afford what the public defines as a basic acceptable standard of living.

Well….yes. That’s an incentive to have a job that pays more before you start breeding. Isn’t it?

A two-child couple each working full time on the minimum wage of £7.20 an hour would fall £2,600 a year – or 12% – short of the minimum income standard after paying rent and childcare, the study finds. The shortfall is even more dramatic for a lone parent working full time at minimum wage, who after paying rent and childcare would be £2,860 a year or £55 a week short of what they require, a gap of 18%.

And that’s an incentive to wait until you are in a stable relationship before starting a family. Isn’t it?

The gap is particularly stark for households dependent on social security.

And that’s an incentive to pay for your own decisions, rather than expect everyone else to do so.

Isn’t it?

14 comments for “This Is Working As Intended, Surely?

  1. barnacle bill
    July 23, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I think James it is a bit more nuanced than how you put it. I experience it from the perspective of a father of two daughters, both in stable relationships, with children. Both partners work full time, on minimum wage/zero hours, both daughters have part time employment as well.

    Yet even with state aid they struggle, only renting, savings keep getting eaten by rising energy bills. No holidays, nor any luxury spending, unless the Bank of Dad steps in.

    I agree with the premise of people being responsible for their own actions. I also believe that the state should not subsidize employers with tax credits etc … It used to be the maxim “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work”. Now it seems to be treat your workers like cattle, milk them for all you can, knowing the state will keep them barely afloat to work for you when you next call.

    These aren’t famillies that want to be living off state hand-outs, I know from listening to them talk about how Life affects them, they are also not an exception. Probably they are in the majority of famillies starting out in this day and age.

    So please a bit of understanding.

    • July 23, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Now it seems to be treat your workers like cattle, milk them for all you can, knowing the state will keep them barely afloat to work for you when you next call.

      Sounds familiar….

      “The Poor Law Commissioners’ Report of 1834 called the Speenhamland System a “universal system of pauperism”. The system allowed employers, including farmers and the nascent industrialists of the town, to pay below subsistence wages, because the parish would make up the difference and keep their workers alive. So the workers’ low income was unchanged and the poor rate contributors subsidised the farmers.”

      Any politicians who had studied the background of the Poor Laws as part of O Level History* or later education would surely have seen the potential consequences of the tax credit system a mile off, raising the interesting question of whether subsidising employers was the underlying intention all along.

      *It was certainly on the syllabus at my school in 1981 – although since History lessons from the mid-1980s onwards consisted mainly of moralising, empathy and wall-to-wall Mary Seacole, there’s not much hope that today’s intake would have any idea.

    • July 23, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Well, James might be understanding, Bill.

      But since this is my post… ?

      • barnacle bill
        July 23, 2016 at 3:23 pm

        My mistake with the attribution Julia, sorry, perhaps you would like to comment upon my remarks?

        • Lord T
          July 23, 2016 at 4:17 pm

          BB, I think the article explained Julies view well. She is fed up with paying for people that cannot afford their own offspring but insist on having them. This includes your daughters from what i can see. Minimum wage jobs and reliant of benefits.

          When social security was first sold it was to help those that needed help in life. It has now expanded to become a career and manipulated by the government to create a class of people that need the state to survive. That has let to where we are now and only because that was there is why employers get away with crap wages but prices are still sky high. Our labour costs are simply too expensive compared to labour costs where there is not a state supported class.

          It is going to take some time to unpick decades of social engineering but making people live of the borderline is the first of these steps and it will only get worse.

          Myself I thought when my kids left I would be quids in but much of my salary still goes to them so they can enjoy a bit more luxury. They can afford to live but not have many treats. They could make it but it won’t be fun for the kids.

        • Mudplugger
          July 23, 2016 at 9:18 pm

          I’m with Julia on this.

          There was a time when having children was an accidental by-product of any complete male/female relationship – difficult to prevent unless you were really determined. That is no longer the case – not only is pregnancy easily avoidable, even in the case of an ‘accident’ it can now be legally terminated, so every birth must now be a positive choice.

          So the correct schedule is – form a relationship, work out if you can afford the kids you want, if not then don’t have them until you can. If you never can, then tough, it’s not my fault, so why should I pay to support your faulty/selfish life-choices. Hard maybe, but fair.

          But I do agree that tax-credits should not be subsidising stingy employers – whilst originally conceived as an election bribe to get more ‘middle-class’ folk voting Labour (it worked), it has had the secondary effect of enabling employers to underpay their base-load staff. Yet when a succeeding government tried to scrap them, the howls of anguish were influential.
          A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work remains a sound mantra, until a scheming government screws it up. If they would only leave the employment market-place to work, it would find its own level of balance.

        • July 24, 2016 at 7:21 am

          Well, this one certainly stood out: “Both partners work full time, on minimum wage/zero hours…”

          Isn’t the remedy within their own grasp?

          • barnacle bill
            July 24, 2016 at 9:04 am

            In the case of my elder daughter when she first met her partner he was employed on motorway maintenance with a well known British company. Two years after they were together his company lost the contract, he was made redundant immediately with minimum recompense after eleven years with them.
            He then did a number of agency jobs using his motorway skills but all of this was very hit and miss. Also it was about half what he had previous earned. He could go weeks with-out being offered any work.
            He has since gained employment with another company in a different sphere of work but it is zero hours and minimum wage.
            With my eldest daughter she was employed by a well known clothng manufacturer in the local area on piece work when they first got together. At the time they could afford child care for their only child.
            Then the company brought Polish workers in on an hourly rate, although she remained on piece work, because there was no incentive for the Poles to work at her rate so her earnings declined considerablely. To the point that her income was now less than the child care costs for her then two year old son.
            This happened at the same time as her partner lost his job and had to seek agency work.
            It is a similar story with my younger daughter and her partner. Both in relatively good paying jobs when they first got together and started their family. Then due to cheaper foreign labour coming into their respective companies finding themselves suffering financially as well as emotionally.
            I won’t bore you any further but life for the younger generations is certainly no bed of state supported luxury.

            • Lord T
              July 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm

              BB, There is always a reason why people are where they are but that is no reason for people like me, paying for my own scroungers, sorry kids, needs to also pay for yours. Don’t mind doing it for a short time to fill a gap but just not for the kids entire lives which seems to be as expected. Everyone who has kids seems to think that provides an income for them for life. that needs to change.

              Not even saying it is their fault but as Hillary likes to say ‘We are where we are’. There are always other options, smaller houses, cutting back. I had to when I was unemployed for a period. With having grown up kids I got nothing and if they had given me the tax back i had paid the year before I could have been OK but I didn’t even get what I was promised when they took my tax from me.

              I didn’t even say state supported luxury but the key words there are state supported and who pays then, as the state has no money expect what it extorts from tax payers. They are paid by people working their asses off to pay for themselves and their bit to those that need the state to survive.

              The cure isn’t easy but this is stage one, well unless politicians start to backtrack or Labour get in.

  2. Stonyground
    July 23, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    So what are the causes of this state of affairs? Is it that big government is sucking too much money out of the economy, are high taxes to blame? Is huge government debt partly responsible for these high taxes because of the interest payments? Is childcare so expensive because of too much government regulation? Does the minimum wage actually work as a kind of low pay cartel that enables employers to retain staff without the incentive of better pay because lots of other employers are paying the same amount?

    • July 24, 2016 at 7:22 am

      That last one is a nail/head interface moment…

  3. Hereward Unbowed.
    July 24, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Aye and the other thing, we are having to pay for an ever burgeoning, high birth rate propagating a new generation of perpetual welfare claimants. So that, when the population has reached its ‘takeover’ sufficiency of numbers, AND after the final conflict and all of the milch cows are dead – where TF can they go next, to bleed dry?

  4. July 24, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Probably need just to disown the bairns at 18 and be done.

  5. Bucko
    July 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    “After childcare and rent…”

    I wasn’t aware the 7.20 minimum wage was supposed to be disposable income after expenses.

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