The Social Wage as a Mechanism for a Widespread Recovery in Living Standards

Recovery is underway. However, the economic collapse and years of considerable reductions in government spending mean the recovery is starting from a position where key public services are stretched, state-sponsored family supports diminished, and a lack of public investment in infrastructure around the country is hampering prospects of sustained economic growth.

Enhancing the non-pay returns to workers, the "social wage", involves improving standards of living through increased state support for households through transfer payments and expanded public services. The social wage can take the form of public provision of childcare services, state provided illness benefit, or enhanced support during periods of unemployment.

Maintaining the social wage requires the state’s revenue base is protected. This can be made consistent with enhanced international competitiveness.

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