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Lord Freud On The Disabled And The Minimum Wage - Not Worth The Full Wage?

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http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2014/oct/15/cameron-and-miliband-at-pmqs-politics-live-blog#block-543e579ce4b01d51bd0b039b

Lord Freud on the disabled and the minimum wage

Paul Waugh has got a full version of that Lord Freud quote on his Waugh Room blog.

You make a really good point about the disabled. Now I had not thought through, and we have not got a system for, you know, kind of going below the Minimum Wage.

But we do have … You know, Universal Credit is really useful for people with the fluctuating conditions who can do some work - go up and down - because they can earn and get ... and get, you know, bolstered through Universal Credit, and they can move that amount up and down.

Now, there is a small … there is a group, and I know exactly who you mean, where actually as you say
they’re not worth the full wage
and actually I’m going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it’s working can we actually.

http://www.politicshome.com/uk/article/106454/lord_freud_%E2%80%93_disabled_people_and_the_minimum_wage.html

I think the audio is at this link.

So if you are classed as 50% disabled you get 50% less in wages?

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where actually as you say they’re not worth the full wage

Examples are usually to be found sitting all around him.

Edited by billybong

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Can I suggest he discuss that statement with Professor Hawking?

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I get what he's driving at- that the system should not be so rigid as to deny some very disabled people the chance of doing a bit of work for less than the minimum wage- and in an ideal world this might be fine- but in the real world you are starting down a road that leads to some very dark places indeed.

Given that what we pay people is now the primary way that we assign value to their existence paying some people less than the defined minimum at the very least suggests that their existence is of somewhat lower value than everyone else's.

Of course it's fair to argue that in purely financial terms they are 'worth' less than the legal minimum wage in terms of their productivity- but that's the whole point of having a minimum wage- to introduce a moral dimension into the process of employment and wages.

So what is being suggested here is that some people are of such low utilitarian value that they are even below the threshold of morally acceptable wage levels- that the moral principle represented by the minimum wage should uniquely not apply to them.

To be fair to the man I think his intentions are good- but the same could be said of the eugenics movement- a utopian vision of a healthy society that led to mass murder in the name of racial purity.

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I get what he's driving at- that the system should not be so rigid as to deny some very disabled people the chance of doing a bit of work for less than the minimum wage- and in an ideal world this might be fine- but in the real world you are starting down a road that leads to some very dark places indeed.

Given that what we pay people is now the primary way that we assign value to their existence paying some people less than the defined minimum at the very least suggests that their existence is of somewhat lower value than everyone else's.

Of course it's fair to argue that in purely financial terms they are 'worth' less than the legal minimum wage in terms of their productivity- but that's the whole point of having a minimum wage- to introduce a moral dimension into the process of employment and wages.

So what is being suggested here is that some people are of such low utilitarian value that they are even below the threshold of morally acceptable wage levels- that the moral principle represented by the minimum wage should uniquely not apply to them.

To be fair to the man I think his intentions are good- but the same could be said of the eugenics movement- a utopian vision of a healthy society that led to mass murder in the name of racial purity.

Freud and his ilk would love to have all workers working for zero, if they could get away with it. It's their wet dream.

The disabled discussion is the thin end of the wedge.

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The point seems to be that some disabled people will get enhanced self esteem by the simple act of working, even if it's only two quid an hour and the state makes up the shortfall to min wage.

Yeah, I always thought that my self esteem would have been unaffected by my employer thinking I was worth 1/4 of the proper rate for the job. After all, the reward comes in being able to serve, not being paid enough to eat.

The controversy doesn't say as much about Freud as about the sort of person who would hold such a view. On Daily Politics today they reported that the man who asked the question had made his gardener a director of one of his companies, so that he could pay a dividend worth less than the minimum wage. They'd be running workhouses if they could get away with it. Farage will help ease the way with his 25 MPs next May.

.

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Make no mistake this man does think disabled people are worse less.He is also the person telling us UC is 100% working fine.If he meant government should cover the rest so disabled people can have a chance and a job thats great.He means like a REMPLOY where my disabled brother used to work.

The one he helped shut because it was wrong to give a subsidy he said.

I doubt hed get out alive in some areas of the country.Hes only in the DWP to make IDS look good.What a pair.UKIP must rub their hands over how weak Cameron comes across when ministers show themselves up for idiots.

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Freud and his ilk would love to have all workers working for zero, if they could get away with it. It's their wet dream.

The disabled discussion is the thin end of the wedge.

Id work for zero if I received a four bed detached house with garden, a decent car all paid for, and good food on the table.

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I get what he's driving at- that the system should not be so rigid as to deny some very disabled people the chance of doing a bit of work for less than the minimum wage- and in an ideal world this might be fine- but in the real world you are starting down a road that leads to some very dark places indeed.

It only gets to dark places if you let it.

The observation that a person whose output is half that of someone else due to some disability should be paid less due to that lower productivity is perfectly reasonable, this kind of situation is a perfectly valid argument against having a minimum wage at all. Benefits for which the burden is placed on wider society rather than an individual employer will assist with any wider income issue this might generate, as the benefit system is designed to do.

But I expect many to just go into emotional leftie mode because it relates to minimum wage AND disability (bingo!) and rant and rave without giving a valid point due consideration.

Personally I would find it rather insulting and embarrassing if I were disabled and given sympathy money due to my condition, or indeed given a sympathy 'job' due to some misconceived quota bought about by some career labourite taking advantage of the emotions of the less intellectually capable but well meaning voter demographic.

I will now watch what I described in action in this thread.

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Id work for zero if I received a four bed detached house with garden, a decent car all paid for, and good food on the table.

...and £300+ a day expenses for turning up at the House of Lords...

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I'd love to receive a sympathy job as a result of my disability as I always perform very well once I am in a job.

It's always recognised by my employers that I am a good worker but it's getting my CV to the top of someone's pile and actually in for an interview and offered the job which is my problem. As soon as they start asking questions and when I declare my disability they lose interest pretty fast.

My disabled group is full of educated adults who sometimes cannot do a full time job or travel to an office and would would love some help to get work.

It's got to the point with me that any embarrassment over a quota or similar just doesn't put me off as it is getting harder to find work.

Edited by Flopsy

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Top tip, pay people who are more productive more money.

If employers paid more than the minimum wage as standard (instead of min. wage as the norm), they would have the flexibility to pay some employees less. If you as an employer only pay the legal minimum you've painted yourself into a corner and won't be able to financially penalise less productive employees.

If your business doesn't allow you to pay people more, perhaps you need to reconsider you business model/structure...

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Can I suggest he discuss that statement with Professor Hawking?

david cameron will suffice, didn't his kid have cerebral pawlsy or something like that?

either way I suspect such a comment DID strike a raw nerve with our illustrious leader, wet as he is.

maybe that sort of thing might be the boot up the backside he needs, on 2 counts.

1)those claiming to be "for the common good" are nothing of the sort..the sort of common good they are looking for is "logan's-run type carousel for everybody the wrong side of 40)

2) those who studied nietzche at college are threatening your children directly now...the said survival of the fittest and they meant it...and your kid don't measure up sunshine.....so he's for the knackers yard..

this is the level of people we are dealing with...they would like to think of themselves as pedigree...and you,along with the other 90 odd percent are misfits and mongrels.

now he will understand why we need checks,balances,and the ultimate sanction of force on our side to stop these people from carrying out what they intend to do.

you ain't in their club cambo old boy, deal with it and grow a pair.

Edited by oracle

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If you strip away the hot air, he is right. There are some disabled people who are not worth the minimum wage. There are some perfectly able people who are not worth the minimum wage.

Is it better to have someone sitting at home claiming full benefits, or is it better to have them in employment earning some fraction of those benefits? Neither is good, but doing some work is better than doing none.

I remember at my first place of work, we had a guy who had some form of learning difficulty delivering post around the office. All he did was cheerfully push a trolley round and deliver stuff. Where I work now we have a similar bloke, but because of budgets and the like, this is merely one of his jobs. I can easily see the meeting where the bean counters removed the disabled bloke - at min wage he was probably costing ~25K fully loaded cost and he got the chop.

Edited by rxe

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Make no mistake this man does think disabled people are worse less.He is also the person telling us UC is 100% working fine.If he meant government should cover the rest so disabled people can have a chance and a job thats great.He means like a REMPLOY where my disabled brother used to work.

The one he helped shut because it was wrong to give a subsidy he said.

I doubt hed get out alive in some areas of the country.Hes only in the DWP to make IDS look good.What a pair.UKIP must rub their hands over how weak Cameron comes across when ministers show themselves up for idiots.

I think closing REMPLOY was a terrrible stinking decision. The people who made that should be shot.

My guess it was by some lazy public sector boss who just wanted the executive salary and none of the hassle of running stuff.

Works good for people - able and disabled. Without work you go seed and become a dysfuntional headcase - visit Middlesbrough if you don't beleive me. You forget how to interact with people. You lose your communication skills, Everything. You turn into a useless, big screaming rettard.

When I was growing up, me + mates used get community service at a sheltered community.

It wasn't bad, it was full of Downs adult and people who were just touched in the head.

You could see the enjoyment they got from working. We are not taling working down a mine or labouring - doing a veg garden, making garden funiture. It was run by a load of relgious cranks. Chatting to some of more able residents, they were happy to spend time with people who were not sandal wearing nutcases. We'd finish the work and bunk off with some cans.

Another example is a FOAF. He managed to get himslef signed off with depression 10 years ago. Speaking to his GF, he was down about work and someone had let on the depression is the 'bad back' od the post industriail worl. So he got his note and was happy doing nothing for a few years. Then he stopped doing anything but watch telly and smoking dope. He's now been kicked of disability - new DWP rules + less amenable Dr. Now he struggles to go out of the house and has lost all his social skills. His GF is very close to kicking him out - he can't go out for a drink at the weekend. He thinks everybody is judging him for scamming benefits.

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What is the definition of disabled......not able?.....there a few politicians you could put in that category...... ;)

You mean Ed. Don't you?

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If you strip away the hot air, he is right. There are some disabled people who are not worth the minimum wage. There are some perfectly able people who are not worth the minimum wage.

Is it better to have someone sitting at home claiming full benefits, or is it better to have them in employment earning some fraction of those benefits? Neither is good, but doing some work is better than doing none.

I remember at my first place of work, we had a guy who had some form of learning difficulty delivering post around the office. All he did was cheerfully push a trolley round and deliver stuff. Where I work now we have a similar bloke, but because of budgets and the like, this is merely one of his jobs. I can easily see the meeting where the bean counters removed the disabled bloke - at min wage he was probably costing ~25K fully loaded cost and he got the chop.

Sort of.

There'll be people who struggle to work and live independently - think Downs rather than Jeremy Kyle scum.

Subsidsed employment is good for them - mentally + socially. See my post above.

So why close down the likes of Remploy?

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I am imagining that holding the 'ticket' allowing you to legally work below minimum wage might be quite coveted, if it is the difference between a job at £3 an hour or no work at £7 an hour...

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I get what he's driving at- that the system should not be so rigid as to deny some very disabled people the chance of doing a bit of work for less than the minimum wage- and in an ideal world this might be fine- but in the real world you are starting down a road that leads to some very dark places indeed.

Given that what we pay people is now the primary way that we assign value to their existence paying some people less than the defined minimum at the very least suggests that their existence is of somewhat lower value than everyone else's.

Of course it's fair to argue that in purely financial terms they are 'worth' less than the legal minimum wage in terms of their productivity- but that's the whole point of having a minimum wage- to introduce a moral dimension into the process of employment and wages.

So what is being suggested here is that some people are of such low utilitarian value that they are even below the threshold of morally acceptable wage levels- that the moral principle represented by the minimum wage should uniquely not apply to them.

To be fair to the man I think his intentions are good- but the same could be said of the eugenics movement- a utopian vision of a healthy society that led to mass murder in the name of racial purity.

It is desirable for everyone to have a high wage. Unfortunately, NMW sets a legal barrier to entry for those struggling to find work above an arbitrary rate.

NMW sounds attractive in principle, but it fails to fulfil its goal.

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It only gets to dark places if you let it.

The observation that a person whose output is half that of someone else due to some disability should be paid less due to that lower productivity is perfectly reasonable, this kind of situation is a perfectly valid argument against having a minimum wage at all. Benefits for which the burden is placed on wider society rather than an individual employer will assist with any wider income issue this might generate, as the benefit system is designed to do.

But I expect many to just go into emotional leftie mode because it relates to minimum wage AND disability (bingo!) and rant and rave without giving a valid point due consideration.

Personally I would find it rather insulting and embarrassing if I were disabled and given sympathy money due to my condition, or indeed given a sympathy 'job' due to some misconceived quota bought about by some career labourite taking advantage of the emotions of the less intellectually capable but well meaning voter demographic.

I will now watch what I described in action in this thread.

You are right that the minimum wage is an arbitrary number that does not always relate to the value added of the people concerned- it's a moral construct not an economic one. What the minimum wage represents is our collective decision that work should always provide a certain minimum level of income, irrespective of how much actual value that work has in the marketplace.

The choice to exempt some disabled people from being protected by this minimal standard is non trivial- it would send a message as to the value we as a society place on those people.

So even if they would happily choose to be used as cheap labor this does not mean we should agree- the same way we chose to prevent young children working in factories in the 19th century- we decided that the economic benefits to their families and employers were not a good enough reason to put them to work in dangerous places at a young age.

The problem with your line of thought is that it's too utilitarian- after all, if we follow your logic to it's endpoint we should not be using these people as cheap labor part subsidised by the state as proposed- we should be exterminating them, since their very existence results in a negative economic outcome.

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