ARCHBISHOP of York Dr John Sentamu is misguided to say that £8.80 an hour in London and £7.65 elsewhere is a living wage.
He fails to appreciate that an hourly rate doth not a living wage make. This is because many people don’t work full time, if at all, and either go without or rely on Iain Duncan Smith’s paltry benefits.
Even on 40 hours a week paid the minimum wage let alone the “living” wage, pay is taxable and the “living” wage falls far short of that required, often topped up by welfare benefits.
To resolve the crisis in disposable income we need to face the problem head on and get rid of most benefits and replace them with a basic state income for everyone, whether employed or not.
As I have mentioned before this income would also replace the state pension, removing forever the outmoded concept of static retirement.
What Dr Sentamu should be addressing instead of the living wage is a living rent because mortgages and rent absorb far too much of people’s disposable cash.
And before anyone shrills “we can’t afford it”, oh yes we can. In fact, to avoid a demographic catastrophe, we have to afford it.
Tom Scaife, Manor Drive, York.
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