EDITOR'S LETTERMerryn Somerset Webb
It’s time for a living wage
Exactly four years ago I popped a short blogpost up on our website. In it I ran down some of the things we would do if, like George Osborne, we had just announced that halving the budget deficit was a non-negotiable part of government policy.
We said we would cap all public-sector salaries at £175,000; we would cut all non-means-tested benefits; and we would make our taxes flatter, less complicated and hence less avoidable.
None of that was particularly contrarian at the time. But our final point was: we said we would instantly raise the minimum wage by at least 30%.
The minimum wage has long failed to be a living wage; pretty much everyone on it has to have their income topped up by the taxpayer via the state (tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit, etc). This doesn’t make any sense.
• Read the full editor’s letter here: It’s time for a living wage.