Nothing less

CHARLIE Kimber, writing in Socialist Worker (May 13) has endorsed the demand by the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union for a minimum wage of £4.15 per hour. That would amount to £145.25 for a 35-hour week, or £170 for 40 hours - and this would be before stoppages.

Given that in the same article he calculates the cost of keeping an individual on the dole as £180, the modesty of the SWP demands amazes me.

When the Communist Party calculated the minimum figure of £275 per week, it assumed that a wage was the basis of raising the next generation and that it would still take two wages to provide a modest living for a family of four. A university study subsequently calculated a higher figure, even though no allowance for drink or tobacco was made - on the grounds that the authors disapproved of them.

The SWP clearly believes in limiting its demands to what it thinks the system can afford, not what workers actually need to live.

Tom May