date: 26 October 2011
embargo: 00.01hrs Friday 28 October 2011
The TUC will argue when it meets the Low Pay Commission (LPC) on Tuesday
(1 November) that it should recommend raising the adult national minimum wage (NMW) next year by more than the rate of inflation.
The LPC, which advises the government on the NMW, is currently considering the rates for the period from October 2012 to September 2013.
The TUC will tell the LPC that a rise by more than the retail prices index (RPI) or the growth in average earnings - depending on which is higher - is both necessary and affordable, and will help address the loss in the real value of the NMW caused by below-inflation increases in the rate in previous years.
In its submission to the LPC, the TUC also recommends:
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Last year the LPC recommended a 2.5 per cent increase to the adult minimum wage rate which turned out to be too modest. Inflation is outstripping both average earnings and the minimum wage, causing a huge squeeze on living standards - particularly for the low paid.
'Although economic recovery will be slow - and will be hindered by the government's public spending cuts - most economists agree that the prospects for growth in 2012 and 2013 will be better than this year, so employers should be able to sustain a bigger increase next time.
'The TUC believes that a strong increase would help to stimulate consumer demand, and throw a lifeline to businesses struggling to find customers as real living standards fall.
'The LPC should also recommend the extension of the minimum wage to excluded workers, including some domestic workers and seafarers, and continue to tighten up on enforcement.'
The TUC submission also strongly opposes the abolition of the agricultural wages board (AWB) for England and Wales, which protects vulnerable farm workers from exploitation.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The TUC presents its oral evidence on the NMW to the LPC on Tuesday 1 November.
- The TUC's written submission to the NMW consultation is available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/116/LOWPAYCOMMISSION2011.pdf
- The adult minimum wage is currently £6.08 an hour, 18 to 20-year-olds receive £4.98 and 16 and 17-year-olds get £3.68. The apprentice rate (for those under the age of 19 plus older apprentices in the first year of their course) is £2.60.
- The minimum wage is actively enforced by the government, which recovers around £4 million per year for low paid workers. People who believe they are being denied the legal NMW should Phone the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or visit http://payandworkrightscampaign.direct.gov.uk/index.html
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
Press release (800 words) issued 28 Oct 2011
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-20215-f0.cfm
printed 21 May 2013 at 17:34 hrs by 126.96.36.199