We have talked before about making work pay. It is time to ask how is the Coalition government getting on with implementing its popular pledge that it would make it more worthwhile working?
Over the last two years average pay in the UK has risen by just 4.2%. Meanwhile JSA and other out of work benefits have risen by 8.5%, or twice the rate of earnings.
The government is introducing compulsory membership of NEST, a new pension scheme, for lower paid employees and others not already in a private scheme. This will entail a 4% levy on employee earnings, and a 3% levy on the employer.
Petrol, diesel, and public transport fares have gone up by more than inflation over the last two years. As many need to drive or be driven to work on train or bus, we could pencil in a further 1% loss of net income from travel to work costs.
Putting this altogether, it shows that so far the governemnt has found it difficult to make it more worthwhile working.