Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Magic money tree found in Bristol?

The living wage is rearing its ugly head again:

LABOUR'S mayoral candidate Marvin Rees has promised to introduce a living wage in Bristol if he gets elected to the figurehead post in November.

He has pledged to bring in a rate of not less than £7.20 an hour for all council employees and hopes it will be extended across all firms and organisations throughout the city.

But it gets better:

He said: "Every council employee who currently earns less than £7.20 per hour will be raised to the living wage with immediate effect.

"Following that, as every council contract is re-tendered each company providing services for Bristol must include paying a living wage of at least £7.20 per hour for any person working on those services."

Somehow, Bristol City Council found a spare million for a one-off payment for the low paid recently but this is a permanent increase with the additional pension and social security costs that go with it, and yet no corresponding increase in productivity or other benefit for council tax payers. Not only that, there is the double whammy of making contracted services like cleaning even more expensive for the council as the costs get passed on to the customer. This is a council like many others that has been forced to make long overdue cuts and is still trying to recover several million that it invested in Icelandic banks, so where is the money coming from? Well Rees hasn't costed it so either he'll have to find some more things to cut or put up council tax, although I suspect that he will end up shaking the branches of Labour's magic money tree borrowing to "invest". A classic example of a Labour politician trying to buy votes with no regard to those who will ultimately have to pay for his profligacy.

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