Osborne brings in a National Living Wage…

Just now in the budget speech… And I have to say it was rather quiet on the Labour and SNP benches opposite. Although as Torcuil points out…

… the message will be the same: no need to vote Labour any more: the one nation, liberal Tories have hit town… It takes care of a major plank in at least one of the contenders for the next Labour leadership…

But, hey, seriously? Where is the anti austerity platform when the pro Austerity party starts calling an end to austerity in the national budget (and at the beginning rather than the end of its guaranteed five year term)?

[Knuckle under and suck it up as best you can? – Ed]


  • chrisjones2

    Liz should join the Tory party

  • mickfealty

    Don’t be mean. As far as I can see no one else in the Labour party got that ten year old memo that the Conservatives are no longer Thatcherite.

  • chrisjones2


    Just copying some of Yvette’s supporters!!!!! And they say she is childless too and so cant understand the needs of mothers!! Sisters. Dontcha love ’em.

  • chrisjones2

    So what will our MLAs do now. I reckon this could be a £150m a hit here in NI and the Living Wage will push costs up for Government here too as all those Civil servants demand

  • Dan

    Must be comforting for the ballbags at Stormont, that they can carry on with their posturing forever, and Conservative policies in England will bring in the cash for the exchequer.

  • murdockp

    corporation tax at 12.5% for NI was left dead in the water today. uk rate dropping to 18% means the difference is only 5.5%. that is big news.

  • AndyB

    The devil is in the detail, and I might (or might not) have a look later on. My first reaction was that the minimum wage being pegged to the living wage (effectively) was playing the ace of trumps – but there is a lot more to it.

    Among the many things I’m sure I will not like is that he dug up the “Benefits rising more quickly than wages” line once again, conveniently ignoring that benefits have been pegged to prices, but he has been complicit in suppressing wages to date so they have fallen in real terms.

    Still, the living wage guarantee will ensure that a lot of public sector workers get a pay rise of rather more than 1%. It won’t affect NICS immediately, because by an accident of history (ie equal wage claims) it now pays all staff over the living wage, but it will in future years, and low paid workers for councils, education and NHS staff are likely to benefit.

  • Surveyor

    The right wing press will have to look for a new bogeyman now that the “dole scroungers” have effectively being taken care off. I wonder who’ll they pick on next?

  • Simon Salter

    I agree with what Andy Burnham has said on the matter – Two Generations Budget! National living wage only kicks in at 25 years old and 18-21 year olds excluded from housing benefit scheme! Completely immoral!

  • Surveyor

    Why does someone under 25 get paid less for doing the exact same job and working the exact same hours as somebody who is over 25 anyway?

  • Brian O’Neill

    Good question. You wonder could that be challenged under equality legislation.

  • 23×7

    Good. The NI corporation tax cut proposal is a joke that illustrates the ignorance of our local politicians.

  • Surveyor

    Not only that Brian. I could imagine some companies would be tempted to “let go” a number of over 25’s and employ under 25’s to avoid the higher pay rate.

  • Reader

    So, it’s unfair on younger people, *and* it’s unfair on older people. That’s equality.
    (By the way – the existing NMW is also different at different ages, isn’t it? Though the current age boundary isn’t at 25.)

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Certainly stolen some of their thunder there. DUP strategists are going to have to back to the drawing board. More chasing the grey vote?

  • chrisjones2

    Why? Why should working parents subsidize housing for young people who want to live away from home but cannot afford it

  • chrisjones2

    Even worse if they are under 25 and unemployed DEL pay a subsidy to take them on and employers get National Insurance relief on them

  • kensei

    Brilliant PR, but it is absolutely balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. The “median wage” argument for the benefits cap was, as expected the thin end of the wedge for even more savage cuts. Whether or not you agree with people having 6 kids on the state, the kids exist and the result of this will be a rise in child poverty. The minimum wage rise is welcome but nowhere near the living wage.

    Removing all student grants is ridiculous as well. At this point what England has is a graduate tax on anyone on a typical graduate salary – you aren’t paying off that loan in any reasonable time frame but not for the rich. There needs to be an actual graduate tax and made progressive enough to work.

    Also, can you imagine the reaction if Balls had implemented half of these policies – many of which are pretty close to the Labour manifesto? I am going to say the front page fo the Mail would have klooked rather different.

  • kensei

    Is there a history of the tax take of Corporation tax as a % of the overall take at different rates?

  • Simon Salter

    Because not all young people have the privilege of being brought up by loving parents.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Good to raise the minimum wage, but he seems to have forgotten to tie it in with the withdrawal of tax credits, leaving a huge swathe of low paid people much worse off. Schoolboy error. Of course it’s not really, it’s a quite deliberate smokescreen to mask his hitting poorer households again while giving benefits to the wealthy (IHT changes).

    The gall of the man goes further. Having campaigned in the election only two months ago on how only the fast pace of cuts proposed by the Tories was economically responsible, he now espouses going at it more slowly. So, what Labour said needed to be done in the first place. I’m glad he has changed his mind, but the way he has sought to fool the public over this is a disgrace. He was pillorying Labour in the election campaign for proposing the slower pace of cuts he is now doing. Presumably the Tory election rhetoric was intended to make them look tough on the economy versus Labour. You wonder if he ever had any intention of going at the cuts at the breakneck pace he was advertising, particularly as the Tories were fully expecting to be in Coalition (or similar support arrangement with other parties) and be able to hide any volte face on that under the guide of a compromise deal.

    Osborne has form on sly changes of direction of course. Most famously there’s the spending pledge that he pretends he never made back in 2007, to match Labour’s spending plans for the following 3 years. This at a time he would now have us believe he was appalled by Labour spending: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6975536.stm He knew people had forgotten about it when the financial crisis hit, so from 2010, he shamelessly embarked on a narrative criticising Labour overspending in the years before 2008. People believed him because it fits with what they imagine, without checking, the Tory position must have been pre-crash. Osborne happily played to their amnesia; and Labour were very, very slow to attack him for it. We only really heard it raised in the 2015 election campaign and by then, no one was listening to Labour.

    Bigger still was the volte face in 2013 after the abject failure of the Coalition’s 2010-2013 austerity programme. While continuing to talk as if he was following through his plan and he was being proved right, what Osborne actually did was slow the pace of cuts to … the pace advocated by Darling and Cable in the 2010 election. Turns out they were right all along. The economy started picking up when he abandoned the savage pace of cuts that was flatlining the economy and started cutting more judiciously.

    So in 2015, the idea of the Tories to go fast at heavy cuts again seemed fishy, to say the least. He knew that hadn’t worked first time. Would he really make the same mistake again? Now we know: it was all bluster, a story to fool a public into voting for the tough Tories, rejecting supposed Labour profligacy. Now the election’s over, he’s free to chuck it all in the bin and do what Ed Balls said from the start. Osborne is a devious political trickster and no economic leader. We are now supposed to admire his cunning, but I personally think it’s just dishonest, wrong and insulting to voters.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I wouldn’t quite say that: but I do think she has hit the wrong tone and shows a lack of long term vision in doing so. She seems to think the brave, honest thing to do after an election defeat is admit the other side were right; and adopt an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach to the future direction of the party and the country. You’re left wondering what Labour stands for in that scenario – and how much Kendall really has to offer as an alternative to the right.

    We have a fairly silly, hard right Conservative Party, by historic standards, portraying themselves unconvincingly as at the centre ground of politics. And we’ve seen voters put them in not so much by being won over to the Conservative vision as grudgingly accepting it as the lesser of two perceived evils – an ugly dog competition, as some called it. So it’s a huge error to conclude from the election result that the Tories are popular and must be copied. Labour were a convincing leader away from a much better result – and their policies were generally well supported.

    They lost it due to losing the economic narrative through communications disarray in 2010, Miliband’s personal presentational failings, and the Scottish collapse, presaging English fears of the SNP influencing Labour in government. Don’t get me wrong, those are Labour failings – but the answer to people buying the Tory line on the crash isn’t to go all flakey and say, yes they were right after all, it’s to tell the truth about it.