National Minimum Wage
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16 Jun 2014
The National Minimum Wage boosted pay for millions of people, without leading to a loss of jobs.
The minimum wage was originally designed to prevent extreme low pay and abuse. Today, the cost of living crisis means that the challenge is to help people who earn above the minimum wage, but still live in poverty or are dependent on benefits. Over five million people, or one in five employees, are low paid.
This has got worse since 2010, with families on average £1,600 a year worse off and the value of the National Minimum Wage having declined by five per cent over the same period.
Those on the lowest pay are at the sharpest end of the cost of living crisis. In-work poverty is a shocking legacy of the last four years.
In Parliament last week I voted to set the Low Pay Commission a five-year target to raise the National Minimum Wage faster than average earnings. This will ensure that there is a bond between the wealth we earn as a nation and the wages that people in the Rother Valley earn for a hard day’s work.
A clear five-year target gives businesses time to plan and adapt their business models so they are able to support higher wages for their employees. The Government’s economic policies over the last four years have resulted in higher prices, lower wages and a cost of living crisis.
We need a new economy that works for everyone instead of just a few at the top.