Labour market deregulation, an attempt to compete through "social devaluation", has not helped us to create jobs, to improve our competitive position or to provide sustainable prosperity. But it has had a heavy cost: by 1992, the UK accounted for a quarter of the poor throughout the EU. Another result was the intense insecurity that casts a shadow over the future for so many of our citizens.
As in the US, this insecurity not only creates social tensions. It also inhibits flexibility and economic progress, discouraging people from taking risks. That is why a minimum wage and other employment rights now denied to British citizens could help us compete more effectively in the modern world.
Director, Low Pay Unit
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