Unite, Britain’s biggest union, accused the government of ‘cowering at the feet of big business in the midst of a cost of living crisis’ following confirmation that the national minimum wage will increase by just 19p an hour to £6.50.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This timid rise in the minimum wage is proof that this government cowers at the feet of big business in the midst of a cost of living crisis. The government claims it is on the side of working people but companies are sitting on a cash mountain of £500 billion and they should be forced to share more of it with the lowest paid.
“Low paid workers needed a real boost in pay to help lift them out of poverty. To make matters even worse George Osborne cruelly held out hope that the rate would rise to £7.00.
“The government should have raised the national minimum wage by £1.50 to reverse the growth in inequality. Raising the national minimum wage to the living wage level alone would improve the government’s finances to the tune of £1.35 billion and would grow the economy by £3.15 billion.”
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- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.