But Toynbee can only point to ‘more of the same’ as a solution. She advocates encouraging trade union membership, pressure for a higher minimum wage and continued tax-credit welfare. However, her own findings deny their effectiveness: (a) union representation of the low-paid has been one of broad failure over the years (b) the 10% lowest paid in 1970 were better off then than now - they now get £164 whereas the 1970 equivalent should be £262 a week; and (c) tax credits are fiendishly complicated and many qualified do not claim them.
She should champion a Citizen’s Income, a non-withdrawable regular payment to every person, as of right. At one move this would (1) raise the average wage for those in work (2) enable people to cover the costs of looking for new, more fulfilling and better paid work (3) through the increase in economic power to workers, incentivise employers to train and look after their workers better and (4) enable workers to pay union subscriptions to press for better terms.
The Citizen’s Income Trust www.citizensincometrust.org has much information as to how a new system is quite feasible financially. We already have the beginnings in the Child Benefit payment.