A report by consultants KPMG has found that one in five workers in the UK is paid less than required for a basic standard of living, that's 4.82 million workers who have to survive on less than a living wage, currently £7.20 an hour while the minimum wage is £6.19.
We seem to hear a lot about how taxpayers have to fund the lifestyle of the unemployed and those on disability benefits so are we now going to hear about those employers who use the benefits system to pay part of their employees wages to their prop up their businesses while they pay themselves a massive wage and pension?
Unlikely, because the employers know that they can pay their staff the minimum possible and the taxpayer will make up the rest in tax credits and housing benefit.
As proven by the wails of protest from employers when the minimum wage was introduced, many employers will always find a reason to avoid paying those at the bottom properly so we need Government policy to lift the minimum wage to a level where the employee does not have to claim any benefits which would have the reaction of bringing the benefits bill down and reducing the load on the taxpayer and putting it onto the employers.
Employers won't do it themselves, they fought tooth and nail to avoid paying a minimum wage until Tony Blair forced it upon them, so it will have to come down from Government.
If employers can not provide a decent wage, why should the government subsidise them from taxpayers money especially when we read about tax evaded by companies operating in the UK is more than the UK budget deficit.
If the head of all these companies with bosses on a six figure annual salary paid themselves £100 an hour less, a pinprick in their pay packet, they could take on another 14 people each and pay them a living wage.
It isn't that the benefits are too high as the Conservatives tell us when they slash them but that the wages are too low. Why should we subsidise companies with multi-million pound turnovers?
It must be getting close to the time when we wake up and have another serious look at what Marx had to say.