Regarding the article on the living wage: there should be no gap between a living wage and the minimum wage — never mind such a large gap. In my opinion, the point of a minimum wage is to ensure that anyone who works full time can afford the basics of food, shelter, transportation, etc. The first couple of jobs I had, starting in the late ‘60s, were minimum wage.
Any reasonably frugal person could easily live on it. I do not see employers (especially small-time employers) as wholly at fault for this discrepancy.
The housing crisis is the main villain here. People are forced to pay far too much for the basic human need of shelter. It is heartening to hear that some local employers have made it a point to pay a living wage but, for others, commercial rents (which are also affected by the above-mentioned crisis) and other costs make that impossible. Money in the pockets of ordinary people, as opposed to speculators and wealth hoarders, is what makes for a healthy economy.
Anne Miles, Gibsons