Labour Market

Increasing the national minimum wage is illogical


Government and Institutions

IEA publishes new research into the euro zone

Press Release

IEA respond to the latest IMF growth forecast

The minimum wage is a blunt instrument.

Commenting on the announced increase to the national minimum wage, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The minimum wage is a blunt instrument. Legislated pay hikes can privilege those in work, but make it harder for those outside the labour market to get their feet on to the employment ladder.

“To make it illegal to offer work at £6.30 per hour or less will make things harder still for the old, the young and the poorly educated. The regional breakdown of unemployment is evidence of the negative effects of the minimum wage. If it is unfeasible to scrap the national minimum wage entirely, it should at least be regionalised.

“The real poverty in our society lies with those who are not in work at all, and a 2% increase in the national minimum wage will do nothing to improve their chances of a job – rather the reverse. Although the coalition insists that growth is its top priority, once again it embraces policies which will tend to impede economic growth rather than encourage it.”

Notes to editors

To arrange an interview with an IEA spokesperson, please contact Stephanie Lis, Communications Officer: 0207 799 8900 or 07766 221 268.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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