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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26607

Title: The ‘living wage’ and low income: can adequate pay contribute to adequate family living standards?
Authors: Hirsch, Donald
Keywords: Living wage
Minimum incomes
Working poverty
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: SAGE (© The Author)
Citation: HIRSCH, D., 2017. The ‘living wage’ and low income: can adequate pay contribute to adequate family living standards? Critical Social Policy, 38 (1), pp.1-20
Abstract: The success of the contemporary ‘living wage’ movement has been highlighted by the UK government’s decision to increase the statutory minimum wage for over-25s sharply, in the name of improving living standards. This breaks with neoliberal reluctance to intervene in labour markets, yet raises difficult issues centring around whether minimum hourly pay rates are suited to promoting adequate household incomes. At worst, ‘living wages’ could distract from other policies with this objective. This article acknowledges recent critiques of the living wage as an anti-poverty measure, but demonstrates that, in combination with other policies, wage floors can play a crucial role. It shows that low pay and inadequate working incomes overlap substantially. The article argues that governments promising that work will deliver adequate living standards need a clearer narrative in which pay, public transfers/subsidies and sufficient levels of employment combine to deliver minimum acceptable living standards for working families.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Critical Social Policy and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018317729469.
Version: Accepted version
DOI: 10.1177/0261018317729469
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26607
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018317729469
ISSN: 0261-0183
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Social Sciences)

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