What do you think is a reasonable minimum wage? A lot depends on what you think is a good lifestyle. Running a car might be a luxury for some but essential for others (if you live in a village with no bus service or have elderly relatives who need help with shopping). But running a car is expensive. So should the minimum wage cover this?
It’s very hard to agree on the exact level of a minimum wage. But the principle is so important. Paying people a fair wage for a fair days work is the foundation of our economy. Of course this has to be balanced with the need for employers to be able to compete with companies in other parts of the world. But that’s the task of government – to balance freedom with care of the vulnerable.
So perhaps the more relevant question is what do you think is a reasonable maximum wage? There are now over 100 billionaires in the UK with a combined wealth of £301bn and this number has more than tripled in the last ten years. Some of these people may be very generous with their wealth but we should at least question why the rich are getting richer at a much faster rate than the rest of society.
Increasing the minimum wage by even a small amount would cost nothing next to the current increase in maximum wages.
The Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Tewkesbury
This article originally appeared in The Gloucester Citizen