The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Pennies from Heaven?

18 March 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

The National Minimum Wage rises by 20 pence an hour this week and causes the usual dispute about whether it is too little or too much.

Affecting more than 1.4 million workers, the adult rate rises by 3% to £6.70 from October while apprentices will see an increase by 57 pence to £3.30 an hour.

The usual sides have been even more focused in either their defence of the level of increases or opposed to what is seen as a paltry rise, due to the approaching General Election in May.

“At the heart of our long-term economic plan for Britain is a simple idea – that those who put in, should get out, hard work is really rewarded and that the benefits of recovery are truly national,” declared Prime Minister David Cameron. “That’s what today’s announcement is all about – saying to hardworking taxpayers, this is a government that is on your side. It will mean more financial security for Britain’s families; and a better future for our country.”

The rise for apprentices by 20% surprised some and led to criticism from the right of centre think tank, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). It said the Low Pay Commission was straying away from its remit and being used as a vehicle to reduce inequality.

"The minimum wage was introduced to eliminate perceived exploitative pay at the bottom end of the jobs market, taking into account the prospect that minimum wages set too high would lead to fewer job opportunities," complained Mark Littlewood, Director-General, IEA. "Today's announcement flies in the face of that principle."

However, the Labour Party has committed itself to an adult rate of £8 per hour   spread over the course of the next Parliament if it wins the General Election. Trades union leaders were also less than enthusiastic about the new rates.

 “With one in five workers getting less than a living wage, this is nowhere near enough to end in-work poverty,” complained Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC. “Britain’s minimum wage workers should be very fearful of the billions of pounds of cuts to government help for the low paid that the Chancellor is planning if re-elected.”

Picture; The National Minimum Wage rate increases have been announced with the government pleased by the rises while opponents declare they are not high enough. 

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 18 March 2015


Related Tags

Related Articles

Union To Make April Fools Out Of OCS And Engie

Having just been awarded contracts with a total value of £1.1 billion, OCS and Engie will be disappointed to learn that strike action could be called before they...

 Read Full Article
Greater Enforcement Needed To Catch Minimum Wage Cheats

Stronger enforcement of the minimum wage is needed as underpayment is rising and fines for those underpaying are too low, according to new research by the Resolution...

 Read Full Article
National Living Wage To Rise Again In April

New Year's Eve saw the Low Pay Commission publish 2019 recommendations on the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) - which if accepted would see...

 Read Full Article
Strike Ends With London Living Wage Guaranteed

ISS staff working at BEIS have won what their union is now describing as the 'gold standard' in terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage, after...

 Read Full Article
Immoral Compass Finds Right Direction

A Compass Group company has agreed to the 'return' of working weeks 'stolen' from employees according to the workers' union Unite. ESS had put their...

 Read Full Article
Living Wage Laughed Out The Door - BEIS Strike Planned

Outsourced workers are set for indefinite strike action at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as their employers laugh at a Living Wage plan....

 Read Full Article
Living Wage Champions Recognised At Awards

The annual Living Wage Champion Awards have been delivered - including those from the cleaning sector. We've got the full list of the large and small organisations...

 Read Full Article
Settlement Scheme Success Says Secretary

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed that more than 750,000 applications have now been received for the EU Settlement Scheme. The EU Settlement Scheme is designed...

 Read Full Article
Poor Pay Packs Punch In England's East

441,950 East Of England residents in employment earned less than the real living wage of £9.00 per hour in the year to April 2018 a new GMB study has shown. The...

 Read Full Article
London Hospitals May See Sodexo Staff Strike

Tuesday April 30 saw three London hospitals hit by protests over pay involving porters, cleaners and domestic staff who work for Sodexo. The protests could escalate to...

 Read Full Article