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Employers’ duty to pay higher wages

John Rentoul

ids1 176x300 Employers duty to pay higher wagesThe Conservatives’ surprise policy of raising the national minimum wage is no longer a surprise, thanks to Rachel Sylvester’s column in The Times today (pay wall), but it is still a good idea.

The policy might have been a good idea at the start of this Parliament, as it would have helped pump demand into the economy, and might not have suppressed the increase in number of jobs, but it is more likely to be a good idea now, because the recovery seems more secure.

What really is a surprise, though, is the outbreak of what Number 10 calls Hollibandisme in Iain Duncan Smith’s department. IDS is keen on the policy because it would cut the tax credit bill. Sylvester quotes a Department for Work and Pensions source:

Employers at the moment are being subsidised by the welfare budget because they are not paying people enough. Some of these companies have very high profits. It’s their responsibility to pay higher wages so people can stand on their own two feet.

If Ed Miliband said that, I would mock. But because it is IDS, I’ll say it is clever Conservative positioning.

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  • http://www.dragon-class.com/ Piers Midwinter

    Its not enough to increase peoples wages. Government needs to help poor people by reducing the costs of living quite substantially and give discounts on properties etc.

  • greggf

    But John, I’ve noticed that pattern before…..

  • Pacificweather

    As the goverment owns very few residential properties it has few properties to discount. Building dwellings for social rents is a form of employer subsidy that has been damaging our economy for half a century.

  • pobinr

    What’s driving down wages?

    The EU is the capitalists wet dream brought to you courtesy of the left!
    The taxpayer subsidising employers who pay crap wages to immigrants.
    It’s totally false for the trecherous likes of Vince Cable to claim these low paid immigrants benefit everyone. They make rich slumlords richer & boost profits for employers like Starbucks, Costa, PizzaExpress, restauranteurs, hoteliers, rest home owners, nanny agencies etc
    That Costa served on min wage is in realty incredibly expensive.
    The low paid immigrant serving it takes up housing, often social housing if they have kids, road space, NHS capacity etc etc yet they pay little if any income tax or NI to pay for all this !
    What would benefit the economy is to get the lazy B’s on beneits out doing these jobs. But as long as someone is only £20 a week better off as a dustman than being on the dole that isn’t going to happen.
    Reduce immigration & reduce benefits

  • porkfright

    There is no recovery, nor will there be one. The policy denies recovery, because the policy is for further bank robberies, sequestration of savings and pension funds, and more austerity. Robin Hood has been tied up and stuffed. The Sheriff and his men are in charge now.

  • pobinr

    If you vote for the big three parties, you are voting for;
    MORE Roma
    MORE queues
    MORE traffic jams
    MORE immigration
    MORE crowded parks
    MORE packed surgeries
    MORE crowded beaches
    MORE houses on green belt land
    MORE crowded trains and buses
    MORE centralised control by the EU
    MORE power cuts due to more demand
    MORE feeling like a foreigner in your home town
    MORE classes of kids needing special training in basic talking
    MORE systematic, total betrayal of all that your forefathers worked and fought for

    Solely for the benefit of slumlords, employers who pay crap wages & parasitic power grabbing EU quangocrats!

    If you are one of those moral cowards who vote for them, you deserve what you are getting. You are part of the problem.

    There is only one way out now. Vote for a nationalist party like UKIP.
    One that ACTUALLY CARES about YOUR people.

  • mightymark

    What can I say – I agree wholeheartedly. Phew – is that a first?

  • mightymark

    Crowded BEACHES? Haven’t seen a crowded beach in Britain for years. Are you sure you aren’t part of the doubtless substantial UK Expat (Malaga) branch of UKIP yourself “crowding” Spanish beaches?

  • Nils Desperandum

    It would be more useful if they could persuade HMRC to actually enforce the Minimum Wage….. if I remember correctly there have been only 10 prosecutions since it began, which would explain why it was recently estimated that 300,000 people were on less than Minimum Wage…

  • Nils Desperandum

    I don’t think my forefathers worked and fought for me to end up voting for a party full of Little Englanders led by an expenses-fiddling ex-public school merchant banker…


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