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Minimum wage should rise to £15 for all workers, says TUC

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) believes that the minimum wage in the UK should increase to £15 an hour "as quickly as feasible."

It was recommended that this rate be used for all employees rather than the present lower rate for those under the age of 23.

The hourly minimum wage is £9.50 for those over the age of 23, and £9.18 for those between the ages of 21 and 22. Given that prices are rising at a rate of 10.1%, wages do not buy as much.

Government officials warned that increasing the minimum wage might increase unemployment.

Prices are rising at their quickest rate in 40 years, led by greater food, fuel, and energy expenses.

Every worker should be able to afford a respectable standard of living, according to TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady.

But millions of low-paid workers struggle to make ends meet and are now being driven to the point of no return by skyrocketing prices and eye-watering expenses.

The minimum wage increased by the most ever in April of this year, according to the government, which declared itself "committed to making work pay." However, it warned that raising the minimum wage too rapidly or too high could result in more unemployment.

The TUC contends that rather than waiting for the next anticipated increase in April, the government should raise the minimum wage rates immediately to ensure that workers receive "their fair share" at a time when businesses are raising dividend payments to shareholders.

"We've got government assurances time and time again that we should have a high wage economy," Ms. O'Grady said on the Today program on BBC Radio 4.

It should begin with low-paid workers, she said, who are "extremely concerned" about the impact that rising energy costs would have on their ability to pay for school uniforms and put food on the table.

A higher minimum wage, according to her, would result in fewer employees claiming in-work benefits and more employees paying taxes and making High Street purchases.

Some experts forewarned that the minimum wage could result in job losses because businesses would hire fewer people before it was first implemented in 1999. However, there is no proof that the minimum wage has resulted in a general decline in employment.

The TUC said that data from throughout the globe showed that raising the minimum wage did not result in job losses but rather increased salaries overall.

The TUC stated that the Low Pay Commission, which is involved in determining the minimum wage, would "keep an eye on the current economic circumstances so we can safely ratchet up the level of the minimum wage without anxiety."

Younger employees should not receive cheaper rates, Ms. O'Grady continued. 18 to 20-year-old employees are paid £6.83 per hour.

According to Ms. O'Grady, "It's obvious to me, and I believe too many people, that people need to be paid the rate for the job, regardless of their age."

"Why should they be treated differently just because they're under 23 if they're working as hard at the same job?"

There shouldn't be a new minimum wage objective, according to Matthew Percival, director of skills and inclusion at the CBI, which represents businesses. Instead, he argued that any increase in the rate of the minimum wage should be based on economic expansion and increased productivity generally.

"Where possible, businesses are raising pay, but the rising cost of electricity is forcing them to the breaking point. In order to support homes and companies and avoid relying solely on the minimum wage, the government must take immediate action "said he.

The minimum wage is determined in proportion to the median wage, which is the average determined by taking the middle of each paycheck in the UK. By 2024, it is currently desired that the minimum wage will equal 66% of median earnings.



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