MINIMUM WAGE AND KENNEDY

4 September 2009

There’s an interesting letter in today’s Times from Shirley Williams about the minimum wage.

She explains the influence that the late Ted Kennedy had upon its establishment in Britain, especially in showing that in the USA the minimum wage had not adversely affected employment.

In 1994 Williams successfully pushed the minimum wage as party policy at the Liberal Democrat conference though, as she says in her letter, the “entire parliamentary party” of the Libdems opposed the policy. The next year Labour adopted it too.

Initially the Liberal Democrats supported a minimum wage with different regional rates; this would have given workers in Cornwall a lower minimum wage than in most of Britain. Labour brought in a national rate.

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