Since the beginning of this year, we have heard stories of possible increase in minimum wage. George Osborne even claimed that he thinks the national minimum wage should rise to £7 an hour by October 2015. We truly do not expect such a dramatic increase but good news… it has been confirmed that the National Minimum Wage will be £6.5 an hour starting this October. This change will definitely benefit millions of workers nationwide. This is a rise of 3%, by 19p. Finally, the wage rise has increased more than the inflation rate, first time in six years (since 2008). The consumer prices index (CPI) rate of inflation is currently 1.9%. The LPC’s new forward guidance gives us a much better understanding of how an economic recovery can be translated into faster and significant increases in the national minimum wage for low-paid workers, without costing jobs.
So for students like ourselves, for instance the rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will go up by 10p to £5.13 an hour, which implies a 2% increase. For the 16-17 age range, the rise is to £3.79, also a 2% increase. Apprentices will earn an extra 5p an hour, taking their wages to at least £2.73.
Apparently, in some sectors, the employers are actually capable to pay much more than this. Professor Sir George Bain, founding chair of the Low Pay Commission said there should be a “special case for London to have a higher national minimum. The latest rise means the national minimum wage is still well below the definition of low pay, as set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) due to the fact that the “living wage” is about £7.65 an hour (£8.80 per hour in London).
Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary said “The government claims it is on the side of working people but companies are sitting on a cash mountain of £500bn and they should be forced to share more of it with the lowest paid”.
* Source: BBC News