Increasing minimum wage will be damaging to most vulnerable

IEA response to George Osborne's comments on an above-inflation increase to the minimum wage

Commenting on the Chancellor’s comments regarding an above-inflation increase to the minimum wage, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Increasing the minimum wage is a triumph of political aspiration over economic reality. This move would not only jeopardise the jobs of some of the most vulnerable workers in the country, it will make it even harder for the young and out of work to get a foot on the employment ladder.

“If an employer cannot afford to hire someone because the minimum wage is too high, then someone who otherwise could have found work remains unemployed. The government should be focusing on tackling rising living costs to benefit everyone, rather than creating an even higher barrier in the labour market.

“The minimum wage is a blunt instrument. Increasing it will damage both business growth and society’s most vulnerable.”

Notes to editors:

To arrange an interview with an IEA spokesperson please contact Stephanie Lis, Head of Communications: 0207 799 8909 or 07766 221 268.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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