Today’s annual low-pay report from auditing giant KPMG confirms that Britain is one of the most unequal societies in the developed world.
More than five million workers, 22 per cent of the employed labour force and growing, receive less than a living wage of £7.65 an hour (£8.80 in London) before tax and national insurance deductions.Yes, let's not forget those tax and national insurance deductions, since they degrade the living standards of the downtrodden masses too. But, 7.65 Pounds is about $12.25 (L8.80 is over $14), which is considerably more than a majority of the world's people manage to live on.
Among other things, this exposes the total inadequacy of the current statutory minimum wage of £6.50 an hour, with its even more scandalous discrimination against young workers whose rates are even lower at £5.13 for 18-21 year olds, £3.79 for under 18s and a truly disgraceful £2.73 for first-year or under-18 apprentices.Scandalous. That young, unskilled workers earn less than older, mature, productive workers do. Well, if you've been at it for over a century and haven't made progress yet...
And as we pass the 125th anniversary of the first TUC [Trade Union Congress] resolution on equal pay for women, audits should be made compulsory across every sector of the economy.Especially for government workers;
Wherever possible, trade unions should begin an offensive to win and surpass a living wage across the private sector, while maximum solidarity is given to workers taking action to break the brutal pay freeze in the public sector.Who really matters, anyway?