Disputes over the minimum wage are no longer a question of whether it should exist but rather at what level it should be set.
The Independent, last Tuesday, announced that there is no longer any debate about the need or legitimacy on the minimum wage. Meanwhile, for some, it remains a definitive example of how state intervention damages welfare of the very poorest, and helps to keep them poor. For others still, it is not high enough and deserves to be increased further. The Conservatives have kited a scheme to increase it in line with the profits of the company – as if there was a maximum moral amount of profit that entrepreneurs deserved for world-changing and life enhancing innovations. Finally, Hackney Council have joined in, calling for powers to be delegated to local authorities and information sharing to begin so people’s voluntary financial arrangements can be properly punished.
This debate is going in the wrong direction.