Why does George Osborne hate women and Northerners?


George Osborne is actually boasting about how it will be women and Northerners who lose their jobs as a result of his national living wage:

The chancellor, George Osborne, will respond to claims his budget welfare reforms hit the poor hardest by saying women and those based outside London and the south-east will be the main beneficiaries of the government’s new national living wage.

The point being, in other words, that a rise in the minimum wage can only affect the incomes of those upon whom it is binding. And a rise in the minimum wage is also only going to cost the jobs of some of those upon whom it is binding. Thus the claim that the incomes of specific groups will rise, women and Northerners, is the same as stating that the rise in the minimum wage will cost someone women and Northerners their jobs.

The general rule of thumb is that a minimum wage of over 50% of median wage starts to have significant unemployment effects. And it's not just the general median wage either: it's of the wages of whichever group is under discussion. Wages in the North are rather lower than they are in the SE: thus the jobs losses will hit harder in the North. Female wages are rather lower than male: so more women will lose theior jobs than men. And this £9 an hour idea is actually higher than the median private sector part time hourly pay (from ASHE) which means that one of the glories of the UK labour market, the plethora of part time jobs providing that life/work balance and flexibility, is going to take one darn great big hit.

As we've been saying, instead of raising the wage a vastly better idea would be simply to stop taxing the working poor so damn much. For we've not in fact got low wage poverty in the UK, we've got tax poverty.