Page 2, 16th August 1957

16th August 1957
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Page 2, 16th August 1957 — A LIVING WAGE
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A LIVING WAGE

SIR,-I do not intend to enter the lists too strenuously with you, as I am on holiday, but your editorial this week will anger others beside Trade Unionists. You have often admitted since 1946 that the redistribution of income and amenities which, began then was overdue and in accordance with social justice.

Equally, you cannot he tinassare that in the last seven years some 4400,000,000 has been redistributed to the higher income groups and to business investment. and very little has been conceded to those with incomes under £15 a week.

The financial policy of the Government has been as severe in

the indirect burdens it has put upon the working and lower middle classes. as in the direct weight of taxation, especially through its fiscal policy of high interest, most of it passed on to the consumer.

One would ask you to bear in mind that most of the recent big strikes have been over basic wage rates which in many cases did not reach £8 a week, and never £10. Personally, I doubt whether less than £10 a week net is a living wage at present prices for the family man The tendency of Governmental policy has been, and is, to reverse the redistribution of ten years ago, and in this the Unions are defending rights strongly defended for them by Catholic Social Teaching, not blackmailing the public.

Of course you will get " militant " greed in some strong unions under the present system, but how often do you condemn, editorially, large dividends in strongly placed big business ?

It is this selfishness and basic greed for gain among wealthy and educated Catholics which distinguished us from the ages of the Catacombs, and explains our little success. Equally it points the reason why the Church, through her members, has lost the workers of so many countries. I express myself a little bluntly in the knowledge that you (and 1 think, I), can both "take it."

(Rev.) Edward Holloway, 142 Rodney Road, SF 17.

Our purpose was not to analyse the whole social position, but to show that a "militant" T.U. policy today could only end in greater unfairness, and, finally, disaster. Investment in business is for the common good.-Eorroa.




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