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Minimum wage increases to benefit 1 million

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Close to one million UK workers will welcome a boost in earnings this Saturday, October 1 when the national minimum wage (NMW) increases by 15p to £6.08 per hour.

This 2.5% increase in the adult minimum wage (for workers aged 21 and over) should benefit the public finances by £230 million as tax and national insurance rates increase and the benefits bill falls, the Low Pay Commission (LPC) calculates.

Around 890,000 people will benefit from the increase, and according TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, this rise will put extra cash in the pockets of the UK’s lowest-paid workers, who “can ill afford to have their pay squeezed by inflation”.

“Cuts in public services and benefits are hitting the working poor the hardest and this increase is not enough to protect them from falling living standards,” he added.

“The minimum wage has already helped hundreds of thousands of families without causing significant job losses and its success has shown that – despite much scare-mongering from some employers – sensible labour market regulation is good for business.

The increases will also benefit 18 to 20-year-olds, whose hourly NMW will rise from £4.92 to £4.98, and 16 to 17-year-olds, whose rate increases from £3.64 to £3.68.

However, despite the boost and positive spin from Mr Barber, critics have pointed out that at the current RPI rate of inflation (5.2%), the lowest paid in society may still struggle to make end’s meet.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 1, 2011 at 9:55 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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