Saturday, 8 November 2014


We are putting together our manifesto for Glen in Croydon North. We will be discussing it at our supporters’ meeting on Wednesday, 12th November at our new meeting place at Selhurst, in the constituency. We will post the draft here in a day or so.

This is just a quick post about one of our top policies - for a £10 an hour minimum wage. This post is by way of a discussion starter, so please feel free to comment.

A £10 minimum wage is a vital policy in our view for millions of people currently on poverty wages and zero-hour contracts. It is not possible to live a decent life on uncertain, rock-bottom wages - worrying about food bills, rent, clothing for children, gas bills, etc. For us, this is our top priority. £10 an hour would help transform the lives of millions!

But in addition to the obvious benefit, there are wider gains too. The unavoidable reliance on income support will be radically reduced, if not eliminated entirely, if the minimum wage is raised this way - and enforced. 

And most of the rest of society would feel the improvement too! The extra money in people’s pockets would go straight back into the economy, into shops and businesses - boosting employment and economic activity. 

One question, though, has been raised. What about small businesses, of which there are many in Croydon? They may not be able to afford to pay £10 an hour.

This is a crucial point. At the moment it is big business and corporations that obtain the largest grants, tax-breaks and subsidies from government. Amazon, for example, according to the Guardian, obtained much more in grants from the UK government last year than it paid in taxes to the UK! 

Total UK corporate welfare costs around £85 billion a year! - several times the amount we normally think of as “welfare”.  The annual budget of the NHS is not much more than that!

And all this is additional to the £375 billion used to bail out the banks. (By the way, have YOU seen any of that money?)

We say that small and medium businesses that genuinely could not afford the extra wage bill, should have access to government support. Some of that £85 billion!

It is not beyond the wit of man to find fair and transparent arrangements that ended corporate welfare (to organisations already making £billions in profit), and instead supported small and medium businesses who might find difficulty in paying the new minimum wage.

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