Minimum wage must do more to raise living standards

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date: 28 September 2011

embargo: 00.01hrs Thursday 29 September 2011

Around 890,000 workers, two thirds of them women, will benefit when the adult national minimum wage (NMW) increases by 15p to £6.08 per hour this Saturday (1 October), says the TUC.

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) calculates that this 2.5 per cent increase in the adult minimum wage should benefit the public finances by £230 million as tax and national insurance rates increase and the benefits bill falls. This is important at a time when the public finances are being cut, says the TUC.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'This rise will put extra cash in the pockets of the UK's lowest-paid workers when they can ill afford to have their pay squeezed by inflation. Cuts in public services and benefits are hitting the working poor the hardest and this increase is not enough to protect them from falling living standards.

'The minimum wage has already helped hundreds of thousands of families without causing significant job losses and its success has shown that - despite much scare-mongering from some employers - sensible labour market regulation is good for business.

'If we are to win the fight against poverty pay, protect young people against exploitation and help stimulate demand in the economy the LPC must be bolder next year.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The LPC estimates that the increase on 1 October 2011 will be worth just over £230 million to the Exchequer, LPC report 2011, p131.

- The minimum wage is enforced by the government. Phone the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or visit http://payandworkrightscampaign.direct.gov.uk/index.html

- NMW rates from October 2011

Current rate

Oct 2011

Adults

£5.93

£6.08

18 to 20-year-olds

£4.92

£4.98

16 and 17-year-olds

£3.64

£3.68

Apprentice rate (under the age of 19 plus older apprentices in the first year of their course)

£2.50

£2.60

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk

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