The Megaphone : A Debate Blog

Is minimum wage enough to survive on

Posted on: March 9, 2007

So there has been a lot of talk this week about minimum wage going up to a whopping £5.52 per hour for people over the age of 21. If you are under 21 it is a bit less and if you are under 18, I think it is still legal to send you to work in the pit on a seventeen hour shift for two shillings a week. I’m pretty sure that I was paid about £2 an hour at my first ever job… i am on a wee bit more than that now (at £2.10 per hour).

I have taken it upon myself to do some calculations. Please allow for the fact that I am fairy inept at maths, but I have used a calculator so hopefully I have enough un-evolved monkey in me to bash the right buttons.

So min wage = £5.52
Say rent and bills (average up North made up by Ryan) = £500 per month
Shopping Budget = £100 per month
Say £10 per month in case of emergency… like an emergency bottle of value Scotch.

Annual Wage = £10,062
Annual Out-goings = £7,320

Hourly Wage after out-goings = £1.37 per hour

This means you would have to work 15 hours to buy a new pair of Calvin Klein underpants, because you split your picking up a cigarette butt off the floor outside Primark.

You are feeling a bit out of touch and want to be down with the kids again, so you work 138 hours to buy an iPod… all you need now is to save up for a computer. 584 hours will get you a shiny new G5 iMac. That will have to wait though because your neighbour was pissed last night and he accidentally set fire to your Bentley. You’re going to have to buy a new one. Good news is you will only have to save every penny you earn for 83,942 hours (2,269 days or 43.6 years) and you’re there… I think you will agree this is not unachievable

I ask you is minimum wage enough to survive on?

Please throw your loose change… I mean words into my grotty comments box please.

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11 Responses to "Is minimum wage enough to survive on"

£500 rent + bills!!! It’s expensive Oop North! I pay £525 a month rent + bills and I live in zone 2 London.

I’m not saying that is the cheapest rent up here. But I have artistically allowed myself to charge that.

£525 in London, is that made of cardboard?… just kidding I’m sure it is very nice

It’s a lovely flat – I’m moving soon though hopefully – I want to live with moe people

You missed out the most important thing:

Between 1.5-2 hours JUST FOR A PINT!

I remember the first time I was on £4/hour at the tender age of 16. I used to think “I’d work 15 minutes, and get a pound!”

It was rather ace 🙂

Sonofabitch!! How can you possibly survive on that?

I can give you some crumbs from a cookie, is that okay?

cookie crumbs would be greatly appreciated… thank you

i miss the days of student housing!!

£45 a week including all bills – unlimited hot water and heating…

add to that £1 a pint!

ah i miss student days

things have changed.my student room is near on £80 a week!
but then I do have an ensuite (but with a shower from the 70s)

Far out brussell sprout, how on Earth anyone in a big city can survive on the minimum wage is beyond my comprehension!

Pardon my interruption…

The take home home message shouldn’t be that the minimum wage is too low, but that everyone should figure out that they need to make the effort to obtain a skill or complete an education that demands a higher wage.

Brown/Obama/etc. can save the world for people who don’t want to put in the effort to get ahead.

Does it suck to deal with minimum wage while you’re working on obtaining that skill or degree? Of course. Generations before you (including me) have somehow survived it and you will too. And no one needs a Bentley while they’re in college. And i-Pods are highly overrated. Etc.

Of course not!

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The Megaphone is a place where you can voice your opinions, ideas or solutions to the day’s question posted by me. The subject of these questions will range from “serious” political issues to the utterly ridiculous random crap which occasionally floats around my head. Join the debate team. Enjoy the blog or read more about it.

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