British workers are taking home less in real terms than when Tony Blair won his second general election victory in 2001, with men and young people hit hardest by the wage squeeze that followed the financial crisis, according to new research. The Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank said wages were 1% lower in the third quarter of 2014 than in the same period 13 years earlier after taking inflation into account. Jonathan Cribb, an author of the report, said: “Almost all groups have seen real wages fall since the recession.” However, the study finds that women have been relatively cushioned from the worst of the wage cuts because they are more likely to be in public sector jobs, where wages fell less rapidly during the early years of the downturn. Aided at the start of the crisis by the relative stability of public sector wages, women’s average hourly pay fell by 2.5% in real terms between 2008 and 2014, the IFS found, while men’s pay fell by 7.3%. The IFS also … [Read more...] about Young workers hit hardest by wages slump of post-crash Britain
Why minimum wage is not a living wage
Disney has been accused of not paying hundreds of workers at their California theme park and hotels a living wage, forcing many to live in their cars or to sleep on people's couches. In a class action lawsuit filed Friday in the state's Superior Court five Disney employees claim the company, worth $130 billion, has engaged in 'unlawful conduct and unfair business practices'. The suit is on behalf of more than 400 hospitality workers, The Daily Beast reports. They are seeking back wages and damages from Disney and several companies associated with it. Randy Renick, the workers' attorney, said: 'With the back pay we're talking millions of dollars.' Plaintiff Kathleen Grace worked in Starbucks at the park, employed by Sodexo under contract from Disney. She said she earns $14.25 an hour, adding: 'A lot of [workers] have to live in their cars, or on people's couches, because they can't afford the rent on that wage in the City of Anaheim. 'It's really sad to … [Read more...] about Disney is sued for ‘not paying hundreds of workers at their California theme park and hotels a living wage – forcing many to live in their cars or to sleep on people’s couches’
HSBC has become the first UK bank to open its student account to higher level apprentices ahead of the new academic year. As well as undergraduates heading to university this autumn, young people enrolling into level four courses will also be able to apply for HSBC's student bank account, which includes free Amazon Prime Student for a year and an interest-free tiered overdraft - an important financial safety net for many students. The bank says the extension will offer those working towards higher level apprenticeships the same benefits as those heading to university - this also includes a £60 Amazon.co.uk gift card when you sign up. Higher apprenticeships are work-based, nationally recognised qualifications equivalent to foundation degree level and above, which enable apprentices to split their time between university study and the workplace. The courses, which vary from business, finance and IT to creative roles, engineering and manufacturing offer young people the chance … [Read more...] about Apprentices can now open ‘student’ bank accounts – freebies and 0% overdraft included – but only at one bank
Ed Miliband’s six pledges are an attempt to focus political debate away from the swirling sands of the Middle East and the fractious arguments over an English parliament. But in attempting to shift the focus has the Labour leader made credible promises – especially given his programme for change is designed to run over two parliaments, with goals to be reached in 2025? Apprenticeships “Ensure as many school-leavers go on to apprenticeships as go to university.” The Labour briefing on Miliband’s speech said: “There are not enough advanced, high-quality apprenticeships available for school leavers, with four times as many going to university instead. This is leaving both young people and businesses without the skills they need to succeed for the future.” Analysis: On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the normally loquacious shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, seemed to lose his sure touch when Sarah Montague questioned him on the figures. … [Read more...] about How feasible are Ed Miliband’s pledges?
Boris Johnson was on Thursday accused of revealing his "unpleasant elitism" and insulting the low-paid of London after he controversially suggested some people will struggle to get on in life because of their low IQs. The London mayor was met with outrage from political rivals and silence from his own party after he gave a speech embracing the philosophies of Margaret Thatcher that appeared to mock the 16% "of our species" with an IQ below 85 and called for more to be done to help the 2% of the population who have an IQ above 130. During the speech, Johnson declared that inequality was essential to foster the spirit of envy and hailed greed as a valuable spur to economic activity, as he claimed that shaking a cornflake packet hard was the best way of getting some to rise to the top. The fiercest criticism came from Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, who attacked the senior Tory's "unpleasant, careless elitism" and accused him of talking about people as if they were dogs. "I don't … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson’s IQ comments met with outrage