Minimum wage increase not enough – living wage needed!

Good news and bad news in one: the minimum wage will rise by 3.8% from £5.52 to £5.73 an hour.

For 18 to 21-year-olds the rate will be £4.77, up from £4.60, while 16 to 17-year-olds will get £3.53, up from £3.40.

So, the good news is, it’s going up.

The band news is, it’s not high enough to be a living wage.

Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite, wanted to see the rate increase to more than £6.

“This rise is well below current RPI inflation and projected pay increases, which both stand at 4.1%,” he said.

“At a time when inequality is rising up the political agenda and business leaders are awarding themselves record pay rises, the lowest-paid workers continue to slip back. This cannot continue.”

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “There is no doubt that this increase will benefit thousands of working people.

“However, it falls short of its aim to protect the poor from the constant price rises in essentials like fuel, food and housing.

“A much more realistic figure would be a minimum wage of £6.75 an hour, which would lift many more families out of poverty and off means-tested benefits.”

The GMB’s General Secretary Paul Kenny was quick to issue this comment:

“In view of the rising prices of food, energy, water, transport and travel this increase is not enough to meet the additional bills much less help meet the higher tax bills that will result from the abolition of the lower tax rate of 10% in April 2008 for those on the minimum wage. The living standards of the lowest paid will fall behind again. GMB would have wanted to see at least another 10 pence per hour so that the living standards of the lowest paid in the UK could at least stand still.

GMB policy is that the National Minimum Wage should be moved up to £7 per hour to become a living wage.”

The Morning Star‘s editorial repeats Kenny’s point that

Mr Brown’s Robin-Hood-in-reverse move to abolish the 10 per cent lower income tax rate for the lowest paid will all but wipe out the measly minimum wage increase.

11 Responses to “Minimum wage increase not enough – living wage needed!”

  1. Brendan Says:

    Min wage might be fine for a person who lives in midlands or more up north. But i live a 20-30 min train ride to London things where i live just cost as much. Region min wage should come into effect too. Living expense cost less where my mum lives. That is only midlands

  2. Dominique Says:

    Brendan is right.I live in London and earn a min. wage which is ridiculous according to living expences.I can not imagine how I would cope with everithing just being on my own.It is simply impossible!

  3. charliemarks Says:

    The minimum wage should be the living wage of the region… Hmm. I worry that it would be problematic for a nation to have several minimums – but for sure the minimum should be enough to live a decent life on, and increases should match those in the cost of living.

  4. james brennan Says:

    i totaly agree with everyones responses to the fact that minimum wage just simply is not enouth to live on in london an surounding areas of the south east i am 20 years old an currently earn a disgusting 4.60 ph this really is not enouth to live on in the area i live in unfotunatly i live in the sq mile of central london an have to pay tax like everyone els pay rent like everyone an also have to find travel fare this really isnt exceptable in the 21st century that because of my age i earn less than people over 22 when i do the same job an have the same living expences so much for equal rights for everyone. this country has no plans to bring its people out of poverty but infact continues to put more people in poverty with the continuin increas of taxes
    it just goes to show this govement will only push us minimum wage workes in to more poverty

  5. charliemarks Says:

    You are right James, and it is to the benefit of employers, big businesses especially. It makes no sense that you sould be paid less because of your age and the government is not going to change this until low-paid young workers like yourself get organised and get unionised.

  6. simon Says:

    why is the adv mean or median wage soooo different to what the gov think you need to live on????? ha ha
    Any wage would be good as i have just lost my job, the company i worked for sold up!!! was a retail manager on 16,000pa (much more tan min wage but still have to borrow off parents to live) now looks like i have to take anything as bills need paying- have a son and a partner who looks after him.
    rent = 650pm (cheap for area)
    elec = 80pm (on the up)
    water =60pm (going up soon)
    council tax = 100pm (have nice hanging baskets in the south)
    iva =160pm ( spent to much at collage)
    phone/internet =50pm (prob should not spend on internet….humm that leave the job center … ha ha )
    2 mobiles =80pm (try to cancel but would cost 500 to end contract)
    total = 1180 (currently well above min wage!!!)
    now add food / baby items =300pm (£10 day for 2 people and a child) 15 fruit and veg a day for £10!!! …ha ha
    total = 1480 x 12 = 17760 after tax (approx 24,000pa)to JUST LIVE This I cannot get in the south with 1 year retail managment (no p and l or K.P.I exp.). best I can hope for is around 12-17,000pa 9,000-13,000 net pay!!!
    lucky I have a son so the local gov will pay the rent and inland rev will give us cash…. your cash. will take any job as gov pays less if i earn more and more if i earn less, need to earn more than 30,000pa to get of benifits and 40,000pa to get on housing ladder!!! so will take any job for now…joy!!!!!
    sorry son but daddy works in retail and so no holidays ever!!!
    not even going to go into child care costs!!!!
    if my partner worked full time we would be no better off!!
    As i am in my 30’s i need to put by about 200pm for pension…ha ha ha ha
    plus saving 300-400pm for a deposit for a flat…. ha ha
    phaps i could do a different line of work…no i like retail and was good at my job!!.

    Sorry to moan moan moan . but my point is min wage at £6ph or £8 will not mean anything to real people you will be poor/ hard up/ low earner still, min wage goes up jobs get cut, companys want more money inflation goes up no one is better off. money is not everything but……

  7. charliemarks Says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you lost your job Simon. Best of luck finding employment again.

  8. Tony Says:

    Tax Revolt? Come on they cannot jail us all! Its Time to fight these parasites. I was a 30-40k pa printer and now the print industry has collapsed i cannot find a job over minimum wage. I gave it a go and worked as a fork lift driver (agency). It was a joke! doing a soul destroying job for a pityful income. I could pay the bills and eat cheap but god! nothing else. I was glad when i was laid off.
    I honestly could not live on the income. I live alone so have to pick up all the bills and when you factor in the 20% the CSA take its just not worth the effort!
    I have worked solid for 20 years and now the greedy bas***ds in westminster have crash the economy and flooded the country with millions of imigrants I cannot find a good job. Screw minimum wage i am better off on benefits (Honest) I’m not playing anymore! screw the government and their crimminal tax grabbing. I WILL NOT WORK UNLESS I BENEFIT FROM MY LABOUR, MORE THAN THE GOVERNMENT DO! f**K YOU GORDON! YOUR NOT FIT TO RUN A BATH, LET ALONE A COUNTRY! LETS GET THE RIOTS GOING! BURN WESTMINSTER TO THE GROUND!

  9. Brendan Says:

    Very funny i never heard the term for Gordon Brown to run a country compared to a bath

  10. Issac Maez Says:

    What a clever post! I did a of blogging for dummies over on one of the CPA Marketing forums and I thought it was too simple for them, but the sum of emails I got asking questions just like what you addressed was unbelievable. As young people today we have grown up with computers, but it’s easy to forget that even individuals just a a couple of years older have not! Really good post! :)

  11. Lee Says:

    Id just like to agree with most of the above comments. Quite bassicly, back in 1999 when i set up with my girlfriend of the time and we rented a 3 bed terrist house together we were both on minimum wage, the rent was only £70 a week and we had money to burn.

    Flash forward to 2004…im with my now wife, at that time we were both earning half what we earn now but were actually really well off, we could afford the bills, a car, ciggarettes, go out drinking and eating and most importantly afford to do a good food shop every week and buy clothes! Hell, we en=ven had a 3grand holiday and went on to have a £7000 wedding in 2005, all saved and payed for by ourselves.

    Right, its present day, June 2010, were bringing in double what we were in 2004 and were both broke as a joke, cant afford to go shopping, living hand to mouth and really struggling. We have one old car, we never go out, only luxury we have is my wife smokes maybe 10 ciggarettes a day and i smoke rolling tobacco, we occasionally b uy a couple of bottles of wine and have a drink in the house, maybe one or twice a week. We are struggling so much its unbeleivable, i really cant see that we are that far away from homeless people as far as society goes.

    The wierd thing i cant get my head round is most people i know arent earning a great deal more than us but theyre on facebook posting pics of themselves going out every weekend, they have brand new cars and Iphones and generally living it up, please tell me where me and my wife are going wrong?

    Finally, the funniest thing is, i was working 50hours a week for £6 a hour and we were struggling so bad moneywise and i werent getting to see my wife and my twin boys very much (my wife works 30hours a week for about £8 a hour). The kick in the teeth is i got sacked, only job i could get was 16hours a week at minimum wage, now were actually better off for me working 16 hours a week due to tax credits than we were when i busted my arse doing 50hours at more money per hour.

    This country has gone shit and im really worried for the future as it just seems to be getting worse, wheres it gonna end as were not a nation of protesters like other countries, here in England we just grin and bear it. So will we just be grinning and bearing it when were sat in the gutter begging for coppers? The government knows the people will never do anything so continues to take the piss. Petrol, gas, electric etc, etc.

    I reckon to be able to live like a minimum wage earner did in 2000 you would now have to earn about £20 a hour in 2010! Try and get that job at the job centre nowdays, in fact, lol, try and get any job nowdays…but dont even get me started on that…

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