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

Tuesday, 7 July

Pennies from Heaven?

18th March 2015

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 18th March 2015


Related Articles

Round 12 - Name & Shame Minimum Wage Cheats Exposed

On Wednesday 16, 233 employers were named and shamed by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for underpaying their workers the National Minimum or...

 Read Full Article
ET Fee Was Harshest on Women and Low Paid Families

It was the union, UNISON that won a landmark court victory on Wednesday July 26 against the government, which means that employment tribunal fees will now be...

 Read Full Article
Thursday Threshold and Fools Day Fillip

Workers across the UK saw their take home pay increase when the Personal Allowance and Higher Rate Threshold are increased from April 6. This will cut income tax...

 Read Full Article
Name and Shame Game Sees Biggest Wage Cheats List

More than 350 employers have been named and shamed as the government published the largest ever list minimum living wage offenders on Wednesday 16. More than 15,500 of...

 Read Full Article
In Work Poverty on the Rise

One in every eight workers in the UK - 3.8 million people - is now living in poverty. A total of 7.4 million people, including 2.6 million children, are in poverty...

 Read Full Article
Halloween Shocker - Living Wage is a Living Hell

Halloween morning saw the new London Living Wage increased from £9.40 to £9.75 per hour to reflect the higher cost of living facing families in the city...

 Read Full Article
Union Brings Minimum Wage Case to Court

Seventeen home care workers employed across the London Borough of Haringey, backed by the UNISON union, are taking care company Sevacare and the council to court amid...

 Read Full Article
Where It All Comes from is a Mystery to Ashley

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who clearly has a touch of the 'if you don't ask questions, then brother I'm your man' about him, provided a mixture of...

 Read Full Article
Reap What You Sow Warn Contractors on NLW

The National Contractors’ Forum for grounds maintenance contractors, BALI-NCF, has written to government ministers and members of the Low Pay Commission...

 Read Full Article
Wage Cheats are Only the Tip of the Iceberg Claims Union

The government has ‘named and shamed’ bosses who have failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage but the TUC argues this is not the whole picture....

 Read Full Article