Editor: Swap salaries and then they’d increase the bottom end

Most people support raising the minimum wage to £15 per hour in the UK. In fact, it is hard to argue that everybody should be able to earn enough to live off. Shouldn’t that be a basic right?

Monday, 4th October 2021, 6:45 am
Would you increase the minimum wage?

Calls for an increase in the minimum wage, which is currently £8.91, have heightened since the pandemic and have been spurred again by recent spikes in inflation.

Workers on minimum wage received an increase in the hourly rate paid this year, under government plans outlined by chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The new rates saw an hourly increase of 19p for the majority of workers in the top tier, with 23 and 24 year-olds benefiting from a 71p jump from April 2021.

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The UK Living Wage and the London Living Wage are both voluntary pay benchmarks employers can sign up to - though not legally required.

The UK Living Wage works out a fair minimum rate of pay based on the costs of everyday needs, like food, rent and including utility bills, campaigners say.

The Living Wage Foundation, an independent organisation which assesses the minimum wage required to live off, says the UK’s real living wage is £9.50, or £10.85 for London. Yet the most recent poll showed that more than 60 per cent of people support the minimum wage being increased ‘gradually over the next few years’ to £15 per hour.

The most likely age group to support the increase were 45-54 year olds, followed by under-35s.

Campaigners say the increase would ‘boost living standards for many workers across the country’.

So perhaps it is time all our political parties listened to common sense. We all know that things won’t be easy even when earning £15 an hour. Worse, we are all braced for huge increases in our household bills – and let’s not forget that the young generation can rarely afford to even step onto the housing ladder.

I am pretty sure that if our prime minister or any of his children had to spend long days at work and then were unable to feed their family properly, the minimum wage would soon change.

Reality checks about how thousands of people in this city, let alone this country, have to fight to survive are sadly missing at Westminster.