Why the sudden Conservative interest in minimum wage?

I noted yesterday my concern that the UK’s “economic recovery” is a dangerous illusion, and worse still that this illusion was being deliberately politically motivated. Perhaps I’m just cynical?

It is hard to be otherwise, however, about the Chancellor’s sudden conversion to raising the minimum wage beyond inflation.

To be clear, there is a Conservative argument for raising the minimum wage. It is fairly straightforward – if you want to make work pay (a fundamental aspect of welfare reform), then you have to ensure pay is high enough. A minimum wage of £6.80 would increase the differentiation between working and not working (albeit, frankly, relatively marginally).

However, crude politics is the main reason. By buying into a rise in the minimum wage, regardless of whether it is economically sensible, the Conservatives can trump another aspect of Labour’s election campaign.

What next – a reversal of the hated “Bedroom Tax”?! Don’t bet against it…


7 thoughts on “Why the sudden Conservative interest in minimum wage?

  1. The Listner says:

    Oh you cynic you!!

  2. Man spider says:

    What Tory position would make you rejoin?

    • None at all.

      Although I think the North Down Association deserves every success, my time in the party proved I’m just not one.

      It’s not so much a matter of policy as priority.

      For the record, I think a minimum wage of £7 may, on balance, prove a good thing for NI.

  3. Alan castle says:

    Ian, I really wonder what land you are on, i say reduce the minimum wage…
    You don’t employ staff do you? If you did you would know how hard it is to pay above minimum wage, none of my staff want to be on minimum so we pay more just to make sure they don’t say they are on that, 7.00 an hour to me is an approximate 125,000 more turnover to pay the extra wages alone, never mind taxation and vat from trying to earn that 125,000 pounds
    Do your sums…you have no clue

    • Firstly, read the article. It doesn’t advocate a particular rate, merely explains why the Conservatives are doing so.

      That said, perhaps if you paid staff better you could get away with fewer and would spend less time in court?!

      It is possible that £7 will see bad businesses go to the wall, leaving good businesses to thrive. Hence it *may*, only may, be a good thing.

      But £7 is coming whether it’s a good or a bad thing. Be prepared.

  4. Monkfish says:

    Is it true that the Alliance Party’s policy on the minimum wage is to average the minimum wage in GB and ROI and pay that figure per hour in Northern Ireland?

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