Who is Dragging Down Wages?
This is not rocket science. More workers seeking the same jobs means that, due to supply and demand, wages will fall. The solution is to improve circumstances in their home nations such that they won’t feel the need to become economic migrants.
But equally, the increase in the pension age has meant that older people are forced to continue in employment to make ends meet. This too has increased the number of people who are chasing those selfsame jobs, again causing the price of labour to fall. Raising the pension age hasn’t just been bad for pensioners; it’s been bad for everyone.
On the one hand, we can blame the immigrants and the pensioners for their role in chasing those jobs. Or we can blame the people who enabled unrestrained immigration and the people who made it necessary for the pensioners to continue chasing those jobs. Certainly, immigration of skilled labour is a good thing. And we shouldn’t be banning pensioners from working. But we shouldn’t be making policies where hundreds of thousands of people from a small handful of countries are given a “no-brainer” option to become economic migrants, or situations where pensioners must work to live.
Curiously (or not, if you are cynical about the press), the Express and the Independent have come to opposite conclusions about Carney’s speech.