Union calls for £1 increase to pump demand into “battered” economy

Tim Lezard

CashThe 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 said today .

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.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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