Matthew Pennycook: talking cock

It\’s that old living wage argument coming out for another trot around the park, this time from a Labour councillor.

Ed Miliband placed the living wage at the heart of his successful campaign for the Labour leadership, speaking of its potential to make Britain a \”fairer and more prosperous place\”. His leadership campaign championed the benefits of a living wage in reduced absenteeism, greater productivity, lower staff turnover and greater dignity in work.

A living wage offered to all does none of the first three things there.

It is paying higher wages than other employers which does. And no, this isn\’t just some shot at it from some wild neoliberal, this is the considered opinion of a Nobel Laureate in economics, Paul Krugman.

So could we stop having this fallacious argument presented to us please?

The other point is that the difference between a living wage, as defined by the campaigners, and the current minimum wage, is almost entirely the amount of tax and national insurance which is taken off those low paid people. The power to provide that post-tax living wage is entirely in George Osborne\’s hands, as it was in Darling\’s or Brown\’s before.

Raise the tax free allowance and the NI qualifying amount to the full year full time minimum wage (roughly £12,000 a year) and we\’re done.

Could the living wage campaigners please try to get this into their thick skulls and get on with it?

The solution to low post tax wages among the working poor is to tax the working poor less.

What is so fucking difficult about this?

1 thought on “Matthew Pennycook: talking cock”

  1. Three cheers for your remarks. But I have no answer to your question. There clearly IS something difficult about the point because it’s rarely made (as far as I’m aware), and I’m genuinely puzzled as to the reason. Maybe another poster will explain.

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