MATTHEW Laverack’s response to our debate on the Living Wage once again fails to address the issues at hand, and in particular: Despite protracted requests, he has not provided any supporting evidence or research that the introduction of a minimum wage (and thereby a living wage) is linked to increases in youth or other unemployment– and similarly fails to acknowledge the established benefits to employers of a happier and more settled workforce.
Secondly, for someone that often requests direct responses in his correspondence, he fails to clarify whether he thinks large multinational supermarkets should pay a living wage (although his latest letter of August 13 suggests not, despite paradoxically being understandably proud of being a Living Wage employer himself).
For the record, I reiterate that I have respect for any entrepreneurial spirit and that risk and hard work should be fairly rewarded.
That said, I also do believe in social justice and that a living wage is an intrinsic part of any equitable system. If that opens me up to ridicule, so be it but Mr Laverack will not persuade me (or many other businesses) that the rewards of entrepreneurship are necessarily mutually exclusive with fair pay.
Richard Bridge, Holgate Road, York.