The government’s ‘derisory’ 12p-an-hour increase in the national minimum wage is ‘completely inadequate’; given the need to pump demand into the economy, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Monday 15 April).
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Unite has called repeatedly for the national minimum wage to be increased immediately by £1-an-hour to pump demand into an economy battered by George Osborne’s grim austerity programme.
“An increase of £1-an-hour would have the twin-pronged effect of putting money into the wallets and purses of the lowest paid in the UK. They would then have a small extra incentive to spend in the country’s high streets, already on its knees because of the flatlining economy.
“Such a £1 uplift is a more sensible way to help people off benefits - and much more humane than what the government is currently doing with its savage welfare cuts. In the long-term, increasing the national minimum wage could save the country billions.
“The 12p increase announced is derisory - and does nothing to help those already struggling with soaring household bills.
“The government urgently needs to pump demand and confidence into the economy - and a significant boost to the national minimum wage would be one way of doing that.”
The national minimum wage is to increase by 12p-an-hour for adults to £6.31 from October. The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will rise by 5p to £5.03, and by 4p to £3.72 for 16 and 17-year-olds.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.