Ryan Bourne appears on BBC Radio Five Live

IEA Head of Public Policy Ryan Bourne discussed why the minimum wage should be scrapped on BBC Radio Five Live. This was in response to Professor Sir George Bain, who was instrumental in the introduction of the minimum wage, stating that the current system has ‘run its course‘. Ryan argued that the minimum wage’s initial intention was to remove exploitative wages, yet current proposals from the Resolution Foundation would extend this remit hugely. Furthermore, he argued that the minimum wage disincentivises employers to give opportunities to people who may not otherwise be employed, giving them on the job training and skills in the work environment.

Ryan discussed that too much focus is being spent on wages, and that there should be more effort by government to reduce the cost of living. He proposed easing planning restrictions in order to provide more housing and reduce a significant part of people’s bills. Furthermore, he stated that 47 per cent of people on the minimum wage are secondary earners in high income households, so suggestions that the minimum wage actually reduces poverty may be misguided.

You can listen to the full programme here. Ryan’s segment begins at 14.00.