Parkinson Ponders

There is some clamour in the media for the “Minimum Wage” to be replaced by a higher “Living Wage” and for more lower-cost “Affordable Housing” to be built.  I will leave detailed analysis of the concepts of those terms to a future blog-post where I will look at the issue of “poverty in a modern economy”; here I will concentrate on assessing whether the combined impact of a Living Wage + Affordable Housing would result in less need for “in-work” welfare benefits.

In compiling the table below I have used the following assumptions:

  • A couple in their early thirties with 2 dependent minor offspring;
  • Rent for a 3-bed semi-detached house with garden of £520 per calendar month;
  • A Minimum Wage (M.W.) of £6.19 per hour, Living Wage (L.W.) of £7.45 per hour;
  • Scenario 1: both work 37.5 hours per week (p.w.) on the M.W.;
  • Scenario 2: both work 37.5 hours…

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Socialisation at work again.

Funny, but a couple of things have cropped up today that are along the lines of something I’ve been planning a blog post on.


A week before Christmas my partner and I took our children to an underground Christmas grotto in some caves near where we live. It’s the first time I’ve been but there’s a display there every year. First you get your two minutes with Santa, then you wander from cavern to cavern, admiring the decorations. It’s all very nice, but it’s still really just for kids. Hence my partner and I devised a game to keep ourselves occupied: Christmas present shag bingo. All along the walls of the caves were fake presents with different names printed on them. The object of the game was to see how many names of former shags you could spot as you went along. By the end of the visit, my youngest had a cuddly turtle, my eldest a toy fighter jet and my partner a resounding shag bingo victory. Rather disappointingly, I’d only got one…

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