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Minimum wage freeze discouraged

Minimum wage freeze discouraged

Category: Economy

Updated: 08/05/2009
First Published: 08/05/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Calls to freeze the national minimum wage should be ignored, according to the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The Low Pay Commission (LPC), which is to announce the rate for the national minimum wage in October, has been warned that freezing the amount would leave the UK's lowest paid workers struggling to make ends meet.

Furthermore, the TUC believes that with inflation predicted to rise during September 2009 and September 2010, a failure to implement a pay increase would have a real impact on the living standards of people on the national minimum wage.

The body says workers are already finding life difficult as a result of the downturn.

As average earnings are set to rise by almost three per cent during the period covered by the next LPC recommendation, the gap between the UK's lowest paid workers and the rest of the working population would increase.

The TUC has also highlighted previous wage increases ahead of the rate of inflation in previous recessions, which have helped low income families through tough times. It believes a similar move would be easily affordable now and that many minimum wage workers would put most of their increase back into local economies.

"It is not surprising that business organisations are saying an increase in the minimum wage will threaten jobs and that it should be frozen in the recession," said Brendan Barber, general secretary.

"The same employer groups warned us ten years ago that introducing the minimum wage would destroy jobs. In fact, it has been one of this Government's greatest successes."

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