I’ve got a wage for you if you were born in the 80s: some scattered thoughts on the new “living wage” from a low-waged worker

Cautiously pessimistic

These notes aren’t really about the budget as a whole, so I’m sure I’m missing lots of important stuff about the changes to the benefits system, more an attempt to think through some of the implications of the new “living wage” for over-25s.

I think the language being used is important here. The term living wage hasn’t been chosen by accident: the real living wage (£9.15 an hour in London, £7.85 outside it) has been a key demand of some determined workers’ struggles recently, at a time when open struggles are rare, and the redefinition of the living wage as a government-sponsored minimum wage at a lower rate seems likely to make things harder for current and future living wage campaigns: how can you demand the living wage when you’re already being paid it?

The fate of the words “living wage” is also a useful example for those who hold…

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