Unions such as GMB are campaigning for a living wage of £8.55 an hour in London and £7.45 outside the capital. A staggering one in five workers in the UK receives less than the living wage. That is nearly 5 million people. Yes, 5 million 'strivers'. This is slave labour.
A living wage is simply a rate of pay that enables a basic standard of living. Any civilised society should aspire to achieving it. If the government believes in markets then let's stop subsidising companies who pay low wages. We should insist that all companies should pay a living wage; it should be the minimum entry point for any worker. Not only would this be fair, a decent wage for work done, but it would also cut public spending on welfare. It would enable people to make a difference to their lives and the lives of their families; it would provide dignity and respect for the work they do.
It is a disgrace that tax dodging companies like Starbucks exploit not only their workforce but also the British taxpayer. It is no surprise that Starbucks refuses to recognise union representation for its workforce. Companies like Starbucks are the real scroungers the government should be targeting and attacking with their stigmatising rhetoric.