I’m only just getting my head around how, here in Britain, our tax money pays an army of private landlords £35 billion a year in rent. In fact, this is so common that the Government has invented a euphemism for it: Housing Benefit.
And now I discover that, on top of that, we also foot £24 billion worth of the wage bill of thousands of large companies, who are too stingy to pay people a proper wage. And get this, there’s a euphemism for that as well: Tax Credits.
So, the British welfare system is working really well. For landlords and supermarkets.
Shurely shome mishtake? A quick perusal of the Oxford dictionary confirms that a welfare system is “a system whereby the state undertakes to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, especially those in financial or social need, by means of grants, pensions, and other benefits.“
I don’t know about you, but I don’t seem to run into a lot of landlords in financial or social need these days, and I don’t think Tesco or Asda are short of a bob or two. (Other Supermarkets are available). But do any of them pay the minimum wage – let alone a Living Wage? Continue reading