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05.01.15

Low Pay Commission split on minimum wage rise

Members of the Low Pay Commission are split on whether to recommend a 50p-an-hour pay rise to the national minimum wage.

The increase would see its level rise to £7 an hour. It increased from £6.31 an hour to £6.50 last October and a new rate will come into force in October this year.

The commissioners, including business leaders, union figures and academics, will meet in the coming weeks to decide what to recommend. With wages set to be a major issue at the general election, the decision of the commission is keenly awaited.

Labour has already pledged to raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour over the course of the next Parliament if it wins power in May, while Chancellor George Osborne has suggested it could increase to £7 this year as the economy improves.

The biggest business group, the CBI, said its research showed that more than two out of five firms intended to raise pay at the same rate as RPI inflation this year.

Retail companies are expected to be the biggest opponents to the wage hike while other businesses are likely to be more flexible on pay.

The minimum wage has not increased in line with inflation in six of the eight years since 2006, only keeping pace with price rises in 2009 and 2014.

Analysts have calculated that if the minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 2006, the adult rate would now be £6.99 an hour.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opin[email protected]

Comments

Cllr David Sheard   05/01/2015 at 12:19

Surely the only split should be that the recommendation is too low. The "Living Wage" (outside London) is £7.45, anything below that is a disgrace and the Commisioners should resign.

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