Martin Vander Weyer Martin Vander Weyer

The Living Wage is nifty politics – but let’s see more help for small business too

Plus: uneasy feelings about an oil price war; and ten years of ‘Any Other Business’

What is George Osborne’s Living Wage? Is it a ploy to shift cost from the taxpayer to the employer by reducing in-work benefit claims; or a sop to Tory MPs who were bombarded with angry questions about earnings inequality during the election, as well as a neat way of turning one of Labour’s few effective lines of attack? Or is it a principled act of fairness, acknowledging that the lowest earners bore the brunt of the recent recession? Knowing how the Chancellor operates, it is probably all of the above except the last: he is, as Sir Samuel Brittan once...

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