Sure and now we’re against the very idea of a minimum wage around here because we’re economically literate. Humans buy less of things that are more expensive. But even if we put aside logic and reason to enter the minimum wage debate on the more normal terms this decision by Jezza Cobyn is still remarkably stupid and or ignorant. Actually, given modern mores why be so exclusionary? It’s both. For he’s decided that his £10 minimum wage should apply to the under 18s as well.
The point here being that we do know that a minimum wage which is “too high” causes significant problems in the labour market. Wages higher than the value to be gained by employing someone mean there’s no job for them to be employed in. There is, among those who discuss such things as the minimum wage, no doubt about this point. The only argument is over the meaning of the word “too”.
We can argue about what that too really means, a useful rule of thumb being around 45 to 50% of the minimum wage. Phil Hammond is therefore being a fool with his 66% desire and Osborne was one with his 60%. But, you know, Tories, eh?
The thing is, as is also agreed by all the adults, the minimum wage harms those it binds upon. Who does a minimum wage bind hardest upon? The young and untrained. By definition, of course.
So, if you are going to have a minimum wage then you probably do want to have age bands to it. The higher rates for the older, more experienced and trained, lower for those who as yet have to prove their value to an employer. So, what does Grandpa Death announced?
Speaking at a party gathering in Birmingham on Saturday, Mr Corbyn said: “Equal pay for equal work is hardly a controversial idea, so why are we discriminating against young people? “You don’t get a discount at the shops for being under 18. “But if the person serving you on the other side of the counter is young, they could be on half the wage of their colleagues. “It’s time to end this discrimination. Young people’s work should be properly valued, not exploited by employers to cut their wage bill. If they’re doing the job, pay them the wage – the real living wage.”
Yep, some kid straight out of failing her GCSEs will have to be paid £10 an hour from the word go. Meaning, of course, a certain paucity of job offers for 16 year olds straight from failing their GCSEs. It’s no longer possible to pay the possibly less productive less therefore the possibly less productive won’t get paid.
I did actually say this was stupid or ignorant, didn’t I? For Jezza’s just announced the best policy we could think of to increase teenage unemployment. That is, it’s both stupid and ignorant.