Gransnet forums

News & politics

Great British Recovery?

(94 Posts)
JessM Fri 02-May-14 22:23:55

The PM was talking about this today. Seems though that the "upturn in the economy" is not because productivity and wages are going up. It's because there are more people in the workforce. Many of them in poorly paid jobs.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 02-May-14 22:34:58

There is recovery. But no growth. Apparently.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 02-May-14 22:35:50

No. I do n't really know what it means either.

Aka Fri 02-May-14 23:26:40

You make it sound like a cancer jingl

Grannyknot Fri 02-May-14 23:39:26

I don't understand why it matters that some people are in poorly paid jobs. Not everyone can be in a well paid job hmm and not every job can be well paid. Some should be though.

durhamjen Fri 02-May-14 23:45:30

People in poorly paid jobs get their pay topped up by benefits, so the taxpayer is subsidising companies that pay poor rates.
That cannot be right.
Do you have a lst of which jobs should be well paid and which poorly paid, Grannyknot?

Riverwalk Fri 02-May-14 23:48:18

You might understand if you were in a poorly-paid job Grannyknot

Grannyknot Fri 02-May-14 23:52:15

No I don't. But off the top of my head, nurses should be well paid. My nephew who clears away and washes up in his local pub, is not well paid.

Do people in poorly paid jobs really get their pay topped up by benefits?

Grannyknot Fri 02-May-14 23:53:40

Riverwalk I've often worked in poorly paid jobs at times in my life. Needs must and all that.

Grannyknot Fri 02-May-14 23:56:30

Sorry meant to add 're my nephew ... he is not well paid because the job requires a low level of skill. He is happy with his job though.

Grannyknot Fri 02-May-14 23:58:34

Anyways I'm off to moon now. Night, all.

durhamjen Sat 03-May-14 00:13:19

The problem with pay in this country is the differential between top and bottom pay.
And yes, Grannyknot, people on low pay get their pay topped up by benefits. Otherwise they cannot afford to pay their rents or feed their children.

durhamjen Sat 03-May-14 01:11:59

Just been telling lies again. I went on the HMRC website and put in information to say I was working a 35 hour week on minimum pay of £6.50 an hour.
Apparently I would be due nearly £500 tax credit. This seems weird as I would also be paying tax, which would be not much below the tax credit.

JessM Sat 03-May-14 06:59:26

I believe lots of low paid workers get housing benefit - most of the recipients are in work.
I think the thing is that they total production of the economy by one measure has gone up because there are more people working. But productivity per person is still down.

Joe Grice, chief economist at the ONS, puts the figures in some context:
"This is the fifth consecutive quarter of steady growth. Overall, the economy is now only 0.6% below the pre-recession peak at the beginning of 2008. In fact, services are now 2% above the pre-recession peak but the production and construction sectors are still around 12% lower."

Business investment fell 2.7 per cent on the previous quarter and was down by a hefty 8.5 per cent on an annual basis.
Consumer spending is up - and that is the other thing behind the figures.
All a bit of a nightmare for us to understand isn't it. Osborne "Bigging it up" ahead of the EU elections this month.

HollyDaze Sat 03-May-14 19:03:47

Maybe production and construction remain low because people can't afford to spend money on those products.

Overall consumer spending may be up but on which products? Cheap imports? That won't do much for the British economy.

JessM Sat 03-May-14 19:54:34

It would tend to indicate that, wouldn't it, if UK industry still in the doldrums.

Ana Sat 03-May-14 20:00:55

I'm surprised that so many people seem think Britain should have recovered by now. It takes time, and will take longer.

rosesarered Mon 05-May-14 14:40:15

I'm just amazed that our country is doing reasonably well at all. Yes, it does take time and will take years longer yet, but it seems as if there is light at the end of the tunnel, to use an old cliche.

durhamjen Mon 05-May-14 23:47:08

Do you think this should be allowed?
The government is having discussions on whether zero hours contracts are legal. Then IDS says this.

ayse Tue 06-May-14 00:50:09

Durhamjen - Re Zero hours contracts. I don't know a great deal about them so forgive my ignorance but it seems to me that with zero hours the only benefit is to the employer. My understanding is that the employee is on call whenever the employer wants them, so what about planning for leisure, taking a part time course, time with family and most importantly job insecurity together with the rates of pay. I'm all for unemployed people (of which I have been one) taking a job rather than not taking a job. Working with the unemployed I suggest 95% of ordinary unemployed people will take a job that they can do. I can't speak for executives generally, but I have met a number who have been unable to find work in their chosen field and refuse to take a 'filler'. That is even if an employer would employ them.

As to the 'Recovery'. My understanding is that it is based on an increase in consumer spending. Isn't this just going back to earlier problems rather than concentrating on engineering and manufacturing, that produce and create wealth? The Brits are apparently innovative but little investment seems to be made in the right place as the right time.

Iam64 Tue 06-May-14 08:39:20

Yes Grannyknot, those in low paid work get tax credits, housing benefit it. This policy aimed to make it financially worthwhile to work. The upside is that many people with young children for example, can work a limited number of hours a week without losing benefits. The downside is that huge multinationals, making equally huge profits, can continue to pay the minimum wage. Think of places like Starbucks, who avoid paying tax in this country, pay their staff the minimum wage and allow tax payers to top up wages that folks can't live on.

Mad or what!

durhamjen Tue 06-May-14 21:37:04
This is worrying, that 1.4 million people can be on standby with no work on any day. At the same time the government says that the number of people in employment has gone up. It's just a way of massaging the employment statistics.
Yes, you're right, Ayse, there is no benefit to the employee, particularly if they are now saying that if you do not accept a zero hours contract your benefits can be withdrawn for three months.
Following on from iam64, the multinationals can then pay big sums to their shareholders which they have in effect taken from the taxpayer.

Silverfish Tue 06-May-14 22:29:30

I have now taken on another zero hours contract and have bosses ringing me regularly asking if I can work tomorrow etc. but in a few weeks there could be no work. Its the uncertainty that is the problem, you cant save, cant plan for the future. The people who spend are those on benefits, yes aryse and grannynot people do get benefits for working, I don't as I don't get enough hours. if you have kids you need to work 16 hours if you have not you need to work 30. I only get about 25hrs even with 2 jobs.

Was talking to a woman on benefits who gets 90.00 a month from dwp for her addiction, she is a compulsive spender. her house is immaculate, rent paid by dwp, all new furniture and carpets. She goes to replace everything every 2 years and takes on loans etc that she knows she cannot pay and as she's ll some agency takes over and helps her to make small payments to avoid the courts. I like this woman very much,a lovely person but how easy is it to work the system, she just calls her social worker everytime she is overspent. I wish I had all her benefits plus £90 spending money a month.

durhamjen Tue 06-May-14 22:48:24

That's what I've just written to Esther McVey, sliverfish, that people on zero hours contracts cannot plan.
38 degrees has a petition to try to stop them stopping people's benefits if they refuse a zero hours contract. Last week they said it was voluntary, but it does not sound that way to me.

JessM Wed 07-May-14 07:33:47

The realities for most people on benefits are that taking a zero hours contract could be an even bigger disaster than unemployment. Once you come off a benefit, getting back on them is not an instant thing. There can be an administrative delay, or one that is built into the rules (I think). If you resign from the "job" that could affect your right to benefits (?)
If you have kids you cannot make any reasonable plans for childcare unless you have a fully flexible free family member at hand. The companies have absolutely no interest in giving someone consistent and predictable shifts - that is why they like them.