The ASI's latest paper calling for the National Living Wage to be scrapped has sparked debate in the media.
The Mirror reported:
Margaret Thatcher's favourite think tank today calls for the national living wage to be scrapped. The £7.20 hourly minimum for workers aged 25 and over is due to rise to £7.50 in April, benefiting tens of thousands of low-paid employees. But the free market Adam Smith Institute wants it axed, claiming it has become a political football.
George Osborne launched the “national living wage” - actually a rebranded legal minimum – in April 2016. The rate is set by the Government whereas the national minimum wage was decided by independent experts.
Ben Southwood wrote in City AM:
If government is setting minimum wages with no thought at all for their wider and long-term labour market impacts, then we could well see a relationship between hikes and unemployment. That might be nice for economists like me; I suspect the unemployed whose jobs never get created might disagree.
Sam Bowman wrote in Conservative Home:
The National Living Wage is being set without any care for that evidence. George Osborne’s main goal was to undermine Labour after the 2015 election. Well, fine, but they’ve done a good enough job of that themselves.
Politics shouldn’t trump the well-being of people who need to work, and whose prospects might be seriously harmed by further rises to the Living Wage. Let’s stick with what works.