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Time to adopt the “living wage”?

Calls for employers to adopt the “living wage”—£8.80 an hour in London and £7.65 in the rest of the UK—are growing louder. Based on the basic cost of living, it is adopted voluntarily by businesses and is intended to raise living standards for low paid workers. But is it the best way to achieve this?

By Kayte Lawton  

Background image © REX/David Pearson

Kayte Lawton is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research

Ryan Bourne is head of economic research at the Centre for Policy Studies

YES

I could make any number of rational and moral arguments for the living wage but I think it’s best to start with a simple message from someone who knows about life in low pay Britain. Valdemar Ventura was disciplined by his employer for leaving a letter on Nick Clegg’s desk asking to be paid a living…

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