Its conference season at the moment, and as of writing, it’s the Conservatives that are holding theirs. But it was the Labour conference last week that saw a policy grab the attention of the media and some of us too.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell in his speech stated that under a Labour Government they would introduce a new minimum wage of at least £10+ per hour. For full disclosure, I am not a fan of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell or Labour in general at the moment. They’re in total chaos at the moment and about as unqualified to lead a Government as possible, in my opinion.
But this idea did raise good debate on Twitter when I voiced my opinion on it. So, what better opportunity to get the industry’s thoughts on it via a DGB poll…
I am very much in favour for a world that provides more opportunities for others to increase their wealth. But my problem with this policy is that it would put even more pressure on small business or start-ups. New compulsory pension rules are due in a matter of months, which will cost companies more money. Consider then the extra PAYE charges that businesses will incur, and then National Insurance costs too.
I don’t consider Labour as being very pro-business, and for me, a policy like this would only serve to stifle growth of new companies and restrict the starting of fresh ones. It doesn’t however mean that companies can take advantage of their workers and keep pay low. The living wage is already compulsory, and is due to rise to £9 per hour by 2020. We’re already on the way there, do we need to add more pressure to businesses?
Now at our place, our staff are already paid over £10 per hour. But we are an established business for three and a half decades and can comfortably afford it. Not every business will be in our position, and for new companies or very young companies, it will be very hard to afford such a wage, on top of other costs.
Labour’s argument is that their new minimum wage will help increase wealth distribution for all. But, if their new policy sends small companies under, restricts growth of existing businesses or suppresses the creation of new ones, this will be negative for economic growth and could cause job losses.
Could the glazing industry afford Labour’s new policies? The larger regional, national companies probably could. But the very small outfits who only employ a couple of people, who now have pension contributions to pay for, could quite easily struggle.
This is a contentious issue, even though it is unlikely to become a policy any time soon if you believe the opinion polls. All thoughts are welcome via the comments section below.
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