Here we go again. Howls of indignation from the Adam Smith Institute, Iain Dale, LBC presenter, employers and Tory MPs, as they declare: “The end of the world is nigh! We’re all doomed!”
Why the woeful words of wretchedness? Has Trump’s knee-jerk bombing of Syria escalated to a point where missile silos and nuclear submarines are placed on red alert? Is there an impending likelihood of a colossal meteor crashing into the earth?
No. But, Jeremy Corbyn has announced a £10 per hour minimum wage when Labour wins the 2020 election. By the time the rise comes in it will equate to around a £2 per hour rise. This rise will benefit around 6 million workers, around 20% of the UK workforce.
The five-day week, the Factories Act, 1961, statutory 5.6 weeks’ holidays, maternity payments, the Disability Discrimination Act, the minimum wage. Whenever progressive and socially advantageous policies have been mooted in the UK, the harbingers of reaction presaged the downfall of our economy.
Yet, each of these policies came in; and our economy and small businesses survived – many flourishing. LBC presenter Iain Dale referred to the rise as introducing ‘sky high salaries’!
For every reactionary view to the rise there is an obvious benefit for paying decent wages. Millions of workers would come out of workplace benefits trap. A massive saving in Tax Credit and Housing Benefits payments. Extra revenue pouring into the Chancellor’s coffers.
More disposable income in the pockets of workers, who unlike the wealthy don’t offshore their money, means they will plough much of it back into the economy. This boost to the economy will in turn generate more employment as the pay rise money is spent on DIY, new furniture, clothes, gardens, etc creates greater demand. This in turn will increase the profits of the very reactionaries who are wringing their hands at a prospect of £10 an hour minimum wage.