Letter: Would a minimum wage cost jobs?

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Sir: Single wages no longer support families as they once did. As earnings fail, many poorer families are now working all the hours God sends, but still requiring support from benefits. So when is a job not a real job? One answer is 'when it does not produce enough income to lift the person who does it out of the ranks of net benefit recipients, and into the ranks of net benefit contributors'.

Your editorial points out the gap between what people's work is actually worth, and what they are paid. A government without any minimum earnings standard is effectively giving away this shortfall, which it refuses to measure, as benefit - paid to the low- paid, but in effect a hidden subsidy to bad employers. This is done at the expense of the dwindling number of people who do earn enough to be net taxpayers. How long can we carry on doing this?

Yours faithfully,


Sandhurst, Berkshire

31 August