It\’s led some on the left to lose faith in the gradualism of the national minimum wage and the Low Pay Commission – made up of employers, unions and academics – which oversees it. They favour usurping the late 90s settlement on low pay, replacing it with an externally imposed increase in the minimum wage to bring it into line with the far higher living wage (though it\’s important to note that the living wage campaign itself rejects this legislative approach).
You can see the argument: as work by the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Public Policy Research shows, big employers in some important sectors could afford to pay the living wage without it resulting in a major hit to their overall wage bill – in part because the bulk of pay is skewed to the top. Meanwhile, the potential savings to the taxpayer, owing to lower spending on tax credits and benefits and higher tax revenues, run into billions.
Let\’s raise the minimum wage so that we can gouge more tax out of the working poor. Very cuntish behaviour.