Next, why not lift personal allowances to take the low paid out of tax altogether?
Yes, a very good idea. Can it be that Polly has finally got it?
Well, yes, partially. However, she just can't resist fucking up.
It is a good idea to raise not just the youth minimum wage rate, but all of them, as they fell below inflation again this year: half of poor children are in working families, which are only poor because of low pay.
This is foolishness. There is now an excellent essay on the LPUK website about why the Minimum Wage is stupid and counterproductive.
What is rarely explained is that minimum wage laws are a prohibition, they ban most low skilled workers from getting a job, creating a situation where employers may want to employ workers, and workers may want to be employed, but the law prevents them from doing so. Supposedly, this is for their own good. It is better, they say, that they be forced from employment at the barrel of a gun and on to state benefits. To make matters worse, this dependence on benefits is often long term: because low skilled workers need to work to gain skills and experience, if they are banned from working they can't gain what they need to command higher wages. Instead of short term low paid employment, people find themselves on low income benefits long term.
One can sum it up by saying this: if the minimum wage is £5, then someone whose labour is worth less than that will never get a job. And with no job, then it is nigh on impossible to raise your human capital to a point where you will ever get a job.
Anyway, go and read the whole thing...