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Replace National minimum wage with a Regional minimum wage

Comment 2nd July 2010

There have been suggestions on this site to scrap national minimum wage altogether.

I can't agree with that. I think it would be a backwards step, hence me starting a new thread.

My idea is that we should alter the National Minimum Wage law and introduce a Regional Minimum Wage linked to the cost of living.

It's blindingly obvious that the current minimum wage stretches a lot further in the North than it does in the South. This needs to be adressed.

My belief is that the banks and call centers do actually want UK staff talking to UK people, and the UK car companies also would prefer to have UK people too, but everyone in the UK costs the same price…and that price is too expensive when compared to other regions in Europe and the rest of the world.

A call center staff member living in London might indeed need £6 an hour to simply survive, but £6 an hour in Newcastle or Liverpool buys a whole lot more where the rents, council tax, travel costs and house prices are so much lower.

Why does this matter?

I believe that the UK is uncompetitive for business. If staff costs become too high, the only option currently is to look abroad to lower those costs. Many businesses have done just that.

If a regional minimum wage were introduced, it might encourage businesses to stay within the UK, relocating to an area where base staff costs are cheaper whilst still employing UK people.

It would also help reduce unemployment in those areas and raise living standards overall.

I would expect that a few people would moan about the fact that I am proposing that "people in London get a higher minimum wage than we do", but currently, many of these same people are oblivious to the fact that they are getting 0% of their national minimum wage "entitlement" whilst they wait on benefits for businesses to set up in their area and offer them jobs. It's just not happening.

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