to wonder how employees get away with paying their staff under £15k?

(151 Posts)
KenAdams Fri 30-Nov-12 00:12:32

I've just been looking at jobs and I'm shocked at how many pay under £15k!

Surely that's not enough to buy a house in most areas of the country or afford rent on an average family house as well as food, bills, nursery fees etc?

I live in a relatively cheap area and full time nursery fees alone are around £800. How can people be expected to afford that on low wages? It's no wonder that some people really are better off on benefits, which is really sad.

I don't know how low your income has to be to get help from the government but surely there needs to be a big rise in minimum wage in order to meet living costs now?

Sparrowp Fri 30-Nov-12 13:08:44

Its only temporary for everyone to earn below a living wage. In 60 years time they'll have the "experience" and "skills" to be earning millions per minute.

Sparrowp Fri 30-Nov-12 13:09:38

When you grow up in 90 years time, you'll be able to afford a house too.

Scrazy Fri 30-Nov-12 13:16:39

15K is just over £1,000 take home a month. How much rent can you afford out of that without needing HB? If you have children then this amount is not deemed enough household income to live on. Tax credits top it up.

Sparrowp Fri 30-Nov-12 13:16:40

In this country we've got electricity, you can't be in poverty if you've got electricity. In some countries they don't even have electricity, that's real poverty.

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 13:17:03

grin @ Sparrow

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 13:18:14

Scrazy - as I have stated numerous times, under 25's cannot claim tax credits. How do you suppose we survive then if it's 'impossible' to live on? confused

Scrazy Fri 30-Nov-12 13:19:29

Ghostship, do you have children?

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 13:23:11

No. And I'm not on 15k either, 13.5k

porpentine Fri 30-Nov-12 13:26:41

I find many of the responses on this thread shockingly callous. In particular, the suggestion that somehow the very poor in the UK aren't 'really' poor is deluded. There are thousands and thousands of children in Britain right now without enough to eat - does hunger somehow feel different in Salford than it does in Sao Paolo?

www.savethechildren.org.uk/uk-child-poverty

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/09/nick-cohen-starving-children-charity

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 13:29:05

I think the difference is in the UK those poor could get help. In Sao Paolo what is there?

porpentine Fri 30-Nov-12 15:11:12

Obviously access to good-quality free healthcare and education is a massive bonus. But I think the extent of poverty suggests that the limited financial help available from the state is inadequate - people are getting help, but clearly not enough to stop them going hungry. Given the huge rise in food prices (c. 40% since 2005) and the reduction of help available since then, it's not surprising - hence the spread of food banks.

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 15:20:17

Don't get me wrong I get what you're saying, I just think that there's different levels of poverty.

It saddens me that the majority of kids living in poverty over here, it could be prevented. We're not a third world country, there's enough help available if someone choses to seek it (benefits, hostels, food banks etc) . But children have to depend on their parents, and thats the problem in cases where the parents are the reason they're in poverty, whether it be drug or drink issues or whatever.

In third world countries there is no choice. They have no options. They have no free healthcare.

Scrazy Fri 30-Nov-12 15:34:40

I agree with your last post Ghostship. The safety net in the UK does provide enough to survive on. It's sad for children who's parents are not prioritizing their needs for whatever reason.

I can see that someone who is childless, in shared accommodation can survive on this income.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Fri 30-Nov-12 16:03:21

Our rent is £1000 per month for a small 2-bed terraced house. Last year I looked around for somewhere cheaper to live, thinking that would help. However, it wouldn't have done, because a cheaper home would have meant a cut in housing benefit - also, getting a new home while on housing benefit and with an unstable income would have been almost impossible.

Having internet access is pretty much essential: all the work I actually get needs me to use the internet, to transmit finished work to the client.

Being poor is expensive, as well. You end up paying extra for things because you can't pay big lump sums: I hate the weeks when I have to scrabble round and top up my Oyster card daily rather than getting a weekly pass, simply because I haven't got enough in one go for the pass - it actually costs quite a bit more. I have to buy cheap shoes for DS because I haven't got the price of a good pair at one time, so I end up spending more in the long run.

FredFredGeorge Fri 30-Nov-12 16:08:44

The 40% increase in food prices is also misleading (and simply inaccurate on any measure I can find) - and in any case it ignores substitutions it's on a standardised set, but the reality is if beef has doubled in price, you might by fish instead if you were short on money.
(Fish increasing 16% between 2007 and 2012 and Meat 32% see Defra's report)

More importantly it's only returned the cost of food to the cost in the 90's - so food is still cheap relative to wages on a historical basis.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 30-Nov-12 16:13:22

Porpentime, if children dont have a winter coat, shoes or a bed to sleep in then they dont need charity but agencies like social services.

All children currenty get child benefit, those on low incomes have tax credits on top and those not working at all can actually have a higher household income than many working people so there is no excuse at all to not provide those things for a child.

Taking finances into account when planning for children should be something everybody does, sadly many dont. They then cant moan that wages are low and they then cant afford everything. Its not like people dont see that children come with many expenses.

porpentine Fri 30-Nov-12 16:15:06

We differ then, in that I don't think the safety net in the UK does provide enough to survive on for many people. I think there's a great investment in trying to portray poverty as a moral issue - if their children are going hungry it's because they're not prioritising their needs and have just spent all their money on Sky - when it's basically an economic one.

To take the statistic I quoted, if there's been a 40% rise in the cost of food since 2005 and in the same period real wages have stagnated and state help has diminished - not even taking into account rising costs of housing, fuel etc. - then clearly a certain proportion of people are going to struggle through no fault of their own. Yes, some people can cut back, but some people don't have anything to cut. I think to suggest that the majority of people whose children are literally going hungry are doing so because those people are lazy or selfish or whatever is misleading and unfair.

FredFredGeorge Fri 30-Nov-12 16:20:36

porpentine I don't think anyone is suggesting that the majority of people struggling are lazy or selfish, just that firstly the cost of food as a proportion of income is still very low historically, that the lowest income groups continue to have access to luxury goods unknown in large parts of the world, that there's a problem with the awareness of what safety nets are available resulting in low uptakes etc.

For me it's the idea that people in the UK with large safety nets available - if they need them - are some how more demanding than people in other countries with no safety nets that I find unreasonable.

JackThePumpkinKing Fri 30-Nov-12 16:29:02

Ghost ship - of course you can live on £15k if you have no kids, many people do it. It's not possible when you have kids and childcare costs though.

Minimum wage needs to increase.

lololizzy Fri 30-Nov-12 16:29:07

I earn 11.5 k , work full time, charity job. Lots of unpaid hours too. I get no benefits, no working tax credits. Is it hard? Yes. Is it doable? Also, yes. I also had to do it for months on half that amount, with no benefits.Don't live beyond your means!

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 16:31:36

Jack -
For one, it's 13.5k.
For two, many people havent mentioned the need for kids so I just said that I manage.
and three, yes it still is possible.
Its ridiculous to say it isn't. It's not easy, but its possible.

JackThePumpkinKing Fri 30-Nov-12 16:49:16

Not in the city I live in its not, not without tax credits.

Hydrophilic Fri 30-Nov-12 16:49:55

You can only get WTC (without DC) if you work FT. I have got a pt job that pays a pittance. It's all I have been able to get.

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 16:50:34

You do realise that there'll already be people in your city already doing it.

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 16:51:05

Hydrophillic - and if you're over 25. I work FT and cant get it because I'm 21.

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