Thursday, 4 March 2010

What Is The Point: Working In Britain

I read this article in today's Times with interest as I watched the "flamboyant" Evan Davis's recent programme about how immigrant workers actually don't take jobs from British unemployed workers because the latter either don't want them or are unreliable and lazy.

One Latvian, Jolnta, works 8-12 hour shifts in a freezer packing salads. She is paid the £5.80 minimum wage and sometimes is only hired three days a week. Jolnta met another Latvian:

"Iveta Suna, at Parca. She helped her to apply for housing benefits and tax credits that she didn’t realise she could claim. “In my country benefits are very low,” Jolnta says. “Here I think we can get £170 a week in benefits, plus wages.” "

I don't begrudge anyone being eligible for housing and council tax benefits and tax credits when they are earning the minimum wage. I consider it the economics of the madhouse that poor people are paid the minimum possible which is then topped up with taxpayers' money to a living wage by an expensive and cumbersome bureaucratic system in order to subsidise the profits of packing companies and private landlords.

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