Chuka Umunna is one of Compass\’ leading lights: the bulbs that glow so dim. Here\’s his latest bright idea.
What he could pledge to do is introduce living wage clauses in public sector contracts.
Now, what this is is an acknowledgement that living costs vary across the country. They\’re higher in London than they are in the North, with the South outside London somewhere in between. OK, fine, this is true and yes, it\’s a great idea that wages should vary to reflect these facts.
So why don\’t they already reflect them? Because we have national pay deals. If we abolished national pay deals then wages would vary across the country naturally, according to the ebb and flow of the supply of and demand for labour. This would almost certainly mean a rise in wages for, say, nurses, in the South, as at current pay rates there\’s a real shortage. This is what we want of course, that wages rise where there is a shortage of the desired labour.
While we\’re about it, get rid of the national minimum wage as well.
But no, our Chuka decides that layering another set of regulations upon he ones we already have is the solution: when the real one is the abolition of the previous layer that we are now trying to repair the effects of.
Strange really, I always thought lawyers were trained in logic….