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Joan Smith: What if women paid less tax?

(65 Posts)
garlicnutter Thu 01-Sep-11 20:42:28

Sorry if this has already been posted; I did look but my lenses are playing up ...

I really enjoyed reading this Independent article in the sunshine today!

Final summary:
Gender pay gap is still 21%.
Ms Smiths' proposal:
force companies in the public and private sector to be completely transparent about how much they pay all their employees
have a "woman discount" on fixed costs such as council tax, utility bills, national insurance and so on. Twenty per cent is a nice round figure

Certainly gave me a "Now why didn't I think of that?!" moment grin

Am just off to post supportive comments on her article.

sunshineandbooks Thu 01-Sep-11 20:47:19

Love the idea. Unfortunately I think it will get slated for being open to exploitation as bill-payers everywhere will simply get women's names on the bill. We'll then end up with lots more women receiving CCJs etc I think because if most bill payers are female then it stands to reason that most defaulters will be female, too.

OTOH I love the idea of forcing all salaries to be transparent. It could be considered a gross breach of privacy I suppose, but seeing as it's a breach that already applies to the public sector, why not stretch it to include the private?

garlicnutter Thu 01-Sep-11 21:06:30

Yep, her first proposal (disclosure) is only offensive BECAUSE it exposes breaches of the law. That's its genius, imo smile

Second one would be exploited as you say, but would also be a shameful admission of govt complicity with discriminatory businesses.

So the unacceptable logic of the second forces the first ...

MooncupGoddess Thu 01-Sep-11 21:16:29

It's a tongue-in-cheek thought experiment, isn't it, but a really clever one. And it would be very easy to assign women a lower income tax rate than men...

MrsReasonable Fri 02-Sep-11 00:13:28

It's using the overall pay-gap, though, which doesn't give a very accurate picture. How are the Bill Gates of the world skewing these results? I'd like to know the pay-gap between males and females in the same employment (not to say that there isn't a problem with women getting into the average-skewing male-dominated board rooms).

noviceoftheday Fri 02-Sep-11 00:32:00

I like the Norwegian system of everyones tax return being available on line. Now that would be interesting.

My organisation publishes the pay bands for all levels so you know what everyone else who does the same job as you roughly gets paid. Makes life simpler!

garlicnutter Fri 02-Sep-11 00:47:51

MrsR, forgive for quoting amost the entire article, but it does answer many of your questions:-

men currently earn an average of £42,441 compared to £31, 895 for women doing the same jobs

The overall pay gap between men and women in this country is around 21 per cent, which means the new research confirms a previously noticed trend; the pay gap tends to be wider for women with higher educational qualifications.

^a gender pay gap exists in most developed countries, including Scandinavia and the US. The American research, carried out by the Census Bureau in 2007, is especially interesting because the country has had its own Equal Pay Act since 1963 but inequality persists right across the economy.
Female workers earned less than men in 20 industries and 25 occupation groups, and that was true even in sectors dominated by women; female secretaries earned 83.4 per cent of the salary paid to their male counterparts.
In traditionally male occupations such as lorry driving, women fared even worse, earning only 76.5 per cent of the weekly wage enjoyed by men. ^

in 2008 the American academics, sociologist Kristen Schilt and economist Matthew Wiswall, carried out a unique piece of research on people who had changed sex.

They cited the case of an economics professor, Donald McCloskey, who announced to his colleagues that he was having an operation to become Deidre; McCloskey was jokingly told by his head of department that it would mean a pay cut, but Schilt and Wiswall discovered that's the actual experience of many male-to-female transgender people.

Men who had surgery to become women earned 32 per cent less on average after the change, even after taking into account variables such as educational qualifications; women who became men earned 1.5 per cent more. The academics observed that becoming female often brings with it a loss of authority, harassment and a loss of employment, while becoming male tends to produce an increase in respect and authority.

The printed article gave even more examples of gender disparity for specific jobs, such as same-level executives in the same corproration, shop-floor workers in the same factory, and more. Interestingly, the shop-floor workers' pay gap was less than the executives and professors: Smith related this back to the fact of the equal pay movement having been driven by factory workers.

MrsReasonable Fri 02-Sep-11 00:50:49

Ahh, it was the 'overall' that threw me. That'll teach me to skim!

garlicnutter Fri 02-Sep-11 00:55:34

(Just realised some younger readers might not realisesmile
Shop-floor workers means factory workers at the manufacturing end - as in machine shop - not shop floor as in department store!

There was a film about this: "Made in Dagenham".

confidence Fri 02-Sep-11 01:11:51

If women are earning less than men then they'll already be paying less tax, because tax is calculated as a percentage of earnings. So it's a redundant and stupid idea.

Also - if companies are NOT "completely transparent about how much they pay all their employees", then how do we know the pay gap is 21%? Not being funny - I just don't understand where they got that information from, if not from peoples' pay.

garlicnutter Fri 02-Sep-11 01:42:45

Pls see above, confidence smile And welcome!

edd1337 Fri 02-Sep-11 13:14:11

If there was a paygap then companies would be employing just women to save money

MooncupGoddess Fri 02-Sep-11 13:24:04

The point is, confidence, that on average woman ends up with a smaller salary (both gross and net) than a man doing the same job, because of the pay gap. So reducing tax for women would aim to equalise their take-home income with that of the man doing the same job.

garlicnutter Fri 02-Sep-11 13:31:08

If there was a paygap then companies would be employing just women to save money - as already seen in teaching and nursing, to give just two examples.

The article said:
even in sectors dominated by women; female secretaries earned 83.4 per cent of the salary paid to their male counterparts.
In traditionally male occupations such as lorry driving, women fared even worse, earning only 76.5 per cent of the weekly wage enjoyed by men

- so that's good news for a woman who wants a job as lorry driver, but not if she wants a lorry driver's pay to go with it.

"If there was a paygap" is rather an odd thing to say. Have you got access to better data than the US, UK and Swedish governments, which were quoted?

edd1337 Fri 02-Sep-11 14:03:48

Data no doubt exaggerated by certain radfems. No, I havn't

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 14:10:57

hmm edd???

Lost for words here. Are we on Misandry101 or Mumsnet Feminism... I'm blardy lost.

edd1337 Fri 02-Sep-11 14:15:02

sorry DontCallMeFrothyDragon I didn't mean to sound offensive. I don't actually have anything concrete to back up what I said. It's just my perception on said data

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 14:21:27

Can you imagine if the Rad Fem's exaggerating data line was applied on a DV or Rape thread? Think before you post.

Also, check the CMI. That's where the data had come from. It's been heavily reported this week.

Perfectwhirled Fri 02-Sep-11 14:35:04

A different view of the statistics.

reverse pay gap

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 14:36:11

The page isn't available...

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 14:37:38

I can see from the URL though it's the bit about Junior Executives, and women being paid more than men in that area. Yes. That's about it. Once they progress past that, the usual pay gap (eg Men earning more) applies.

Perfectwhirled Fri 02-Sep-11 14:41:50

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 14:44:53

Oh woop, the female junior executives are earning, on average

drumroll please

£602 more than their male counterparts.

Hardly makes up for the fact that those men at the top are earning, on average £10k more than their female counterparts. hmm

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 14:47:36

I nearly spat my drink out at this comment.... (It's copied as it was; I nearly had a heart attack at the spelling and grammar.)

NO the reason why there is not good cjhild care in this country is simple - the people who are supposed to accept the responsibility of taking care of the children have abandond them and gone to worl elsewhere.

Welcome to 21st century Britain, people... hmm

MooncupGoddess Fri 02-Sep-11 14:53:45

'I don't actually have anything concrete to back up what I said.'

Then, er, why did you say it?

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