We all want there to be some new quick fix for tackling poverty and a ‘living wage’ is the latest fad in this area of simplistic marketing slogans. The reality is far more complex.
It is great that KPMG and many other companies are doing well enough that they can afford to pay their employees well. But some companies are barely surviving. In industries such as electronics manufacturing there are huge success stories, but there are also plenty of tiny family run factories that have struggled to survive offshoring –for companies like this paying their staff more simply isn’t an option.
The living wage idea is a reasonable one –it’s good to encourage companies to think about the well-being of their staff and if they can afford to do so to pay them more–but this does somewhat miss the point that this only benefits employees of these companies. What about those working for the companies that can’t afford to increase wages?
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