This Writer had the devil of a time on the doorstep on Sunday, trying to explain to one lady that George Osborne’s ‘living wage’ isn’t enough to live on.
That’s exactly why he stole the expression, of course.
He knows that most people don’t have the time or the inclination to research these things, and are happy to be guided by what they hear in the media.
So by stealing the phrase from the Living Wage Foundation, Osborne instantly managed to convince most of the UK that you can live on a wage of £7.20 an hour without claiming state benefits.
It isn’t even a clever trick but it has worked, despite the fact that we all know Osborne’s words aren’t worth the time it takes for him to say them – look at his many, many Budget failures and his speech on the European Union referendum yesterday (Monday).
That’s why moments like Martin Lewis’s attack are important.
They remind people about what’s real.
A financial expert has shot George Osborne to ribbons on national TV by declaring: “You stole the living wage!”
The Chancellor squirmed as Martin Lewis hit out at his newly-introduced £7.20-an-hour rate for over-25s.
Dozens of firms are now cutting back staff perks to afford the rate – meaning those aged under 25 face a double blow.
Mr Osborne said the 50p pay rise was one of his proudest achievements and stingy firms should be “shamed into doing the right thing”.
But Money Saving Expert website founder Mr Lewis attacked the top Tory, saying his rate was still not enough to cure society’s ills.
“You stole the name Living Wage from the National Living Wage Foundation,” he told the Chancellor on ITV’s The Agenda.
“Your National Living Wage for over-25s is £7.20. The Living Wage Foundation – that’s £9.20. It’s £8.25 outside London.
“You call the living wage £7.20. In reality it’s just a minimum wage for over-25s.
“The living wage wasn’t yours. You should’ve called it another name. It’s naughty.”
The attack comes after the Living Wage Foundation urged firms to ignore George Osborne’s rate and pay wages people can live on.
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