An increase in the national minimum wage is both necessary and affordable, the Trade Union Congress has said.
With inflation predicted to rise through the end of 2009 and into next year, any freeze in the minimum wage would result in a fall in the real living standards of low paid workers.
Despite recession hit firms claiming any increase will adversely affect their businesses further, the union believes a rise should be easily affordable to the economy as an increase of 20p per hour would amount to a rise of just 0.06 per cent in the current UK pay bill.
"Raising the minimum wage has already helped thousands of families," said Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary. "The effect of a further reasonable increase on employer bills will be modest, and companies should find them easy to absorb."
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