The notion of the so-called “living wage” essentially is that employees are to be paid not for what they do, but for how many mouths they have to feed.
It’s called a “living wage,” but to the extent the wage is paid above what the wage-earner produces, the extra has to be paid for by someone—whose own living is thereby made correspondingly harder. And to the extent the wage is made irrelevant to what wage earners produce—their production being the reason they were employed in the first place—their incentive to produce is disconnected from their incentive to earn.
At a stroke this transforms wage-earners from honest earners to charity cases. And it transforms wage-payers from businesses into charitable arms of the government. Transforms them by compulsion. Or, if its arms of government paying the so-called “living wage,” it further transforms all ratepayers (and rent payers) from free people into milch cows.
Odd then that those cheering the “living wage” decision by Hamilton Council like to ignore this. Because this decision to pay Hamilton Council employees a “living wage” is made at the expense of Hamilton Council’s ratepayers, whose own manner of living (without any say in the matter) will now be correspondingly less prosperous for the compulsion from above to pay others more for less.
The decision is, in short, immoral.
And a less likely way to begin making an Affordable City for ratepayers is hard to imagine.
UPDATE: Dave McPherson told Leighton Smith this morning that the cost for these higher wages is all coming out of “existing budgets,” so therefore “this is no cost to ratepayers.” But if existing budgets can find the amount necessary to pay for this decision, they (and all future budgets) could also have been dropped by the amount of this unjustified increase. So the decision has permanently cost ratepayers the amount of that foregone decrease.