Thursday, 25 June 2015

EU Committee of the Regions - SEDEC report

I went to my first meeting of he SEDEC Commission of the Committee of the Regions today.

What stood out for me on the agenda was the draft opinion on minimum wages across the EU. It had been raised as a issue by a Labour member and it was a fine enough paper in its own terms. One of the problems I had with the paper was that it didn't really look at low wages in the context of wider inequality and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. This is what I said,

"I am fully behind the sentiments of the draft opinion but I wonder whether the quickest way to help people on the lowest incomes is by introducing a maximum wage rather than just a minimum wage. Imagine how fast minimum wages would rise if the Chief Executive of a Company or Council could only be paid no more than 10 times the salary of the lowest paid worker. Addressing low pay is tackling one symptom of a culture based on inequality. If we are to have a holistic approach to poverty and inequality we need to address greed with as much vigour as we tackle need."

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