The Living Wage And More

I sit here writing this in a coffee shop. I'm looking through the newspapers to prepare for a radio show later. (What? You want podcast of those shows? OK, look at www.somenews.co.uk/search/label/RadioPod)

The Independent has something about Paula Radcliffe's denial that she used drugs. It can't be that hard to get a urine sample from her, just follow her in a marathon with a cup.

The Daily Star says the world will be destroyed by an asteroid on the 28th of September. And I just renewed a 24-month phone contract so I feel like an idiot.

The Times talks about the Queen being the longest reigning UK monarch. Will anyone ever beat her? Of course not. We're all going to die on September the 28th so well done HRH.

Living Wage - Coffee Maths

But also in the news I see that Whitbread, who may well own the coffee shop I'm in right now, has spoken about the "Living Wage" issue. They say they will increase prices at its chains to counter the cost.

Recently they announced their pre-tax profit was 16.5% higher at £411.8million, on sales that were up by 13% to nearly £3billion, so maybe you'd think they could cover it, but it's up to them, we can't force a company to make less in profit. And I'm not one of those people who hate it when companies make lots of money. It's good. I only wish we could force rappers to be at the meetings so they can hear how much richer than them the companies are.

Whitbread could have done this without telling the news about it but they clearly want us to be ready for a price hike.

So, OK, the coffee here will cost more. But how much more?

There's going to be a 70p an hour increase to £7.20 an hour from April for workers over 25. (The three people here look like they're well over 25. Meow.)

So this place will cost 3 x 70p, that's £2.10 more every hour. You know, £2.10, the amount of money that won't buy you most of the menu here.

Estimates online for the profit margin for a cup of coffee vary but the lowest seems to be 75%. A medium cappuccino costs £2.45, which makes them at least £1.84.

While I've been sat here (staring, but technically I'm calling it people watching as that makes me sound less like a nutter) they haven't stopped serving people with a turnaround time of way less than 5 minutes per person. People seem to be getting on average 2 drinks, so that's 2 x 60/5, 24 drinks and hour, bringing in 24 x £1.84, £44.16 at the minimum.

To cover the cost of paying the baristas enough to live that figure will have to rise to £46.26.

That's £1.93 per drink, which is 9p more.

This isn't taking into account the better National Insurance deal the Government brought in to help firms cover the new living wage, but ignoring that, the drinks only have to go up by 9p.

So when the new prices come in, if they are over 9p more that'll be rich people using rules meant to help the poor to let the rich earn even more money.

I would say something biting like, "Whitbred, how can you sleep at night?!" But they also own Premier Inn, and Lenny Henry is right, those beds really do help you get a good night's sleep.

>Read the source story

In other SomeNews news:
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