Phillip Davies MP has suggested that the disabled should be allowed to work for below the minimum wage has provoked a lot of outrage. This was predictable and it was probably unwise of Davies to suggest it.
It does make some sense though. Working for a living is in most cases beneficial to people- and being out of work long term is draining. Simply getting on the bottom rung of the employment ladder is beneficial in itself and has the potential to lead to higher paying work in the future as skills are developed and contacts made.
Once someone is at the peak of their profession even very serious disabilities may not affect their ability to do their job too much- to take an extreme example Frank Williams has been able to run his motor racing team for quarter of a century since suffering paralysis from the neck down. However in most entry level jobs even a modest disability can damage one's productivity be it stacking shelves or admin work- yet it is these positions that are most critical in setting up a working life.
Even most left wing economists accept that the minimum wage increases unemployment. There isn't much doubt that the minimum wage cuts the employment rates of groups who are relatively less skilled- the young (who have a lower minimum wage), ethnic groups with lower educational attainment and the disabled.
Of course the best solution would be no minimum wage but that isn't going to happen any time soon.
Mike Hendrick (1948-2021)
4 hours ago