Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 673

Inside track

10 January 2014 / Issue 673

It's time to buy Big Oil


  • We need a big rise in the minimum wage
  • The British retailers to buy now
  • The world's most inspiring leader?


Merryn Somerset WebbEDITOR'S LETTER

Merryn 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.