Do the maths

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Could someone, anyone, explain to me how this living wage thing works?

The Tory Party has calculated that, according to the basic cost of living in the UK, no-one should receive less than £7.85 per hour, or £9.15 an hour if you live in London.

This figure is probably arrived at by taking into account the cost of Asti Spumante and those canapé things they eat.

While the Labour Party and the trade unions calculate this figure as being slightly lower because they base their figures on the price of corned beef sandwiches and a mug of tea.

However, I am puzzled as to how this exact figure is arrived at.

Is it based on the 38-hour week which trade union leaders base all their demands on?

Or is it based on the 48-hour week which everyone over 60 will remember as the norm?

Or perhaps this figure is based on the part-time figure of a 30-hour week, which a great number of people seem to work these days and who then claim working tax credits for not working?

Let us presume that the figure is based on the 38-hour trade union week for everyone living outside the greater London area.

This means that, according to the so-called financial experts, no-one can exist on anything less that £298.30 per week.

Let’s round off the numbers and call it £300 per week.

So if the political parties and the trade union leaders of this country have decided that no one can exist on less than £300 per week, why am I, as an old age pensioner, only receiving £115.95 per week (basic pension rate) or £3.51 an hour?

That’s £4.34 an hour less than this so-called “living wage”.

Is it because the political parties and the trade unions have decided that pensioners do not count for anything in the great equation of running this country?

Or perhaps they believe that pensioners should only eat hot meals once a week, warm their homes every fourth day and only buy warm clothing for the cold winter months once in their lifetime and then “make do”?

Edward Powell,

Birchill Gardens,