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15 July 2015

Living wage lie

Fight for 10 an hour now!

Claire Laker-Mansfield

When Iain Duncan Smith cheers the budget speech, we know it's bad news for working class people. Cold, cruel, callous cuts: the Tories are on a high after winning the election and want to get away with murder. Osborne's emergency budget was laced with political cynicism designed to confuse and distort.

Take the pledge to create a so-called 'living wage' to replace the current minimum. It will be 7.20 next year and he claims it will reach 9 by 2020.

Socialists welcome measures which improve the lives of working class people. But this minimum wage increase is inadequate. As well as failing to come close to reflecting the real cost of living, for those on tax credits its effect will be more than eliminated by swingeing welfare cuts.

But that's not all. In an act of sheer viciousness, Osborne has said that employers will have a special licence to super-exploit young workers.

Under-25s will be exempt from the so-called living wage. This, combined with the abolition of student grants and the removal of housing benefit for almost all those under 21, represents a declaration of war by the Tories on youth.

No wonder young people have been among the most furious and energetic in taking to the streets since the budget.

As well as opposing all welfare cuts, we fight for a minimum wage of 10 now for all. Working class people deserve the basic dignity and security of a wage we can live on. One in which we have a secure job, not a zero-hour contract.

The Tories are turning the screw on workers, the young, the poor and vulnerable people. And Labour backs them up on welfare! It's clear we need to organise. So join the Socialist Party, get involved and help build the fightback today.

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