Big society to good society

First published in Progress magazine

The power of moral and social pressure can be brought to bear to bring about better wages for the low paid. Companies can aim for an accredited ‘gold standard’ by narrowing the chasm between their highest and lowest paid employees.

During the Labour leadership campaign the candidates fell over themselves to support the idea of a living wage. Ed Miliband had his own website campaigning for it; David Miliband employed the team behind the living wage campaign to run his Movement for Change; and Ed Balls, to his immense credit, had uniquely implemented it in his department as schools secretary. Labour’s new leader was right to put the issue – along with the wage differentials between those at top and bottom of the society – front and centre of his leadership speech at conference. (more…)