Rapid responses

Minimum wage

[Re: As the mayor announces a rise in London’s Living Wage, does it make economic sense? Yesterday]

Sam Bowman is right that low paid workers should be taxed less. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that, if firms paid the Living Wage, the government would knock £1,000 per worker off of the benefits bill, giving them the option to reduce taxes. But Bowman misses two points on the issue of unemployment. First, dire predictions about increasing unemployment were made, and proved wrong, when the minimum wage was introduced. Second, most of the money going into the pockets of the lowest paid will be spent to make ends meet.

Bharat Mehta OBE, chief executive of Trust for London

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Learning curve

[Re: City jobs bloodbath shows that backlash has gone too far, yesterday]

While I support capital ratio requirements, I agree that tax and other transaction levies render business more attractive elsewhere. But banks are still adjusting from an era of easy profits and need more innovation in organisational efficiency, product offerings and client services. The shift of focus by banks to services and private clients could just lead to another glut of suppliers. The sector itself needs to become more competitive internationally and client focused. Recent job losses in the City are a stark reminder that the UK must both support its financial services, and ensure the health of other parts of the economy.

Adam Fourie

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