Largest Proportional Minimum Wage Increase For 7 Years Announced
The minimum wage in the UK is set to rise this October, but the government has been criticised for “politicising” the minimum wage just before the election.
The Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for a 20 pence rise in the National Minimum Wage for over-21 full-time workers have been approved by the government and the change will come into force this October.
The wage will rise 3% to £6.70, making this the largest proportional increase in seven years.
While the Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he hopes this will make sure that “hard work is really rewarded”, others have criticised some of the rises for being too political and a case of “electioneering”.
While the main rise – in the full-time over-21s wage – is in line with the Low Pay Commission’s advice, the government has completely ignored the recommendation that apprenticeship rates rise by just 2.7% and instead plans to implement a 20% increase.
The Director General of the CBI John Cridland said he thinks that, “It’s disappointing the government has rejected the LPC’s recommendation on apprentice rates.”
“It’s politicisation is worrying,” he added.
Unsurprisingly, Labour has also attacked the announcement and Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, criticised the 20p rise for falling short of a £7 per hour wage promised by George Osborne in the past.
The wage increases also remain far off the Living Wage, which is designed to provide enough for a comfortable living and currently stands at £7.85 for those outside London and £9.15 for those in the capital.
1.4 million UK workers are expected to be better off because of the 3% increase in the minimum wage.
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