It was announced that the national minimum wage will rise by 11p to £6.19. The rise doesn’t help much though as It is less than the rise in the cost of living. The 1.8% rise in income falls short of the 3.6% rise in the cost of living according to the Consumer Price Index.
The minimum wage increase is slightly higher than the average increase in earnings which went up by 1.4% up until January.
Workers under the age of 21 are not so lucky, their minimum wage hasn’t changed, which has been heavily criticised by union leaders.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary said that the minimum wage should have kept pace with inflation. He said “It is wrong to deny young people an increase this year, as there is no evidence that the minimum wage has had an adverse impact on jobs.”
“The reason why firms have not been hiring enough new workers is because they lack confidence in this government’s ability to set the UK on course for a sound economic recovery. There is now a real danger that young people will view minimum wage work as exploitative.”