Thursday 27 May 2010

Credit where credit is due

Whilst I obviously don’t care much for the new government’s policies, there are two in particular that I actually welcome. The first is an issue relevant to where I live. They are going to scrap plans for Norwich to become a unitary authority. Norwich being given unitary status never really made any sense and I don’t understand why the Labour government was so keen on it. I’m not against unitary authorities in principle but the solution for Norfolk always seemed like a costly one for a small city and a not so densely populated county. The other decision that I agree with is the Con-Dem’s plans to curb excessively large salaries in the public sector. I hope that they tackle the nonsense that is bonuses in the public sector as well.

Before you start to think that I am in some way bashing those that work in the civil service or for local government, or you think I’m starting to turn from red to blue, fear ye not. One of the great achievements of the last Labour government was the introduction of the minimum wage. I personally think it is set too low but it doesn’t dilute the fact that it is a good thing. And, interestingly, the sky didn’t fall in when it was introduced, unlike the reactionary prophesies. Unfortunately the social chapter doesn’t go far enough because as well as a minimum wage it is my firm belief that we should also have a maximum wage. Not just for one section of the economy but for all. Wages should be controlled both for public and private sectors alike. Is it such a crazy idea?

There are no doubt lots of reasons why a maximum wage wouldn’t work, and people would find loopholes to get through it, but those loopholes could then be plugged by punitive tax measures. Just doing nothing can never be an option for those that want to build a fairer future for all. A society where one person earns more in a day, a week or a month than another earns in a year can never be cohesive or unbroken.

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