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Call for minimum wage to be increased

Call for minimum wage to be increased

Category: Money

Updated: 29/10/2010
First Published: 29/10/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said that it will call for an increase in the minimum wage next week.The TUC will argue that the Low Pay Commission (LPC) should recommend raising the adult national minimum wage next year by 21p to £6.14 an hour when the two organisations meet next week.

The LPC, which advises the government on the minimum wage, is currently considering the rates for the period from October 2011 to September 2012.The TUC will tell the LPC that a 3.5% rise in the adult national minimum wage is both sensible and affordable.

The national minimum wage was introduced by the Labour government ten years ago; a legacy the party says 'remains one of the government's proudest achievements having benefited millions of people'.

An increase of 21p an hour would benefit almost one million people, says the TUC, and would help address the gender pay gap, as two in three of those benefiting would be female.In addition, employees from ethnic minority backgrounds, those with disabilities, and younger and older workers would also be amongst those to benefit the most from the rise. The TUC will also say that an increase is needed to keep up with inflation, and that a rise encourages more people to get back into work.

"The minimum wage has already helped hundreds of thousands of families without any negative side effects," TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said.

"Its success has shown that the UK economy can easily cope with sensible labour market regulation that makes life at work fairer. Indeed, the UK's economic problems seem to have been caused by too little regulation rather than too much.

"Modest economic growth has now returned and is set to continue, although the road to economic recovery is likely to be bumpy.

"A rise in the minimum wage is needed to ensure that working families are not left in poverty, and most business organisations now agree that an increase of some sort would be affordable."

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