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Friday, 29 April 2011

Money for War but Not towards a Living Wage In Bolton Or Horwich

Money for War but Not towards a Living Wage

The ConDem Government has recently announced that they will be increasing the National Minimum Wage later this year. However, before anyone puts the flags out, it’s only going up by a few pence.
At the moment, the main rate for workers aged 21 and over is £5.93, the 18-20 rate is £4.92, the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18 is £3.64 and the apprentice rate (for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship) is £2.50.
At the beginning of October, the main rate will increase to £6.08, the 18-20 rate will increase to £4.98, the 16-17 rate will increase to £3.68 and the apprentice rate will increase to £2.60.
Although it hardly represents a living wage, Solidarity Trade Union has welcomed these proposed increases as “a step in the right direction”.
Pat Harrington of the Nationalist Trade Union Solidarity said:
“When the minimum wage was first introduced in April 1999, the adult rate was £3.60 an hour. That was twelve years ago, yet we’re still paying grown adults at a miserly rate. However, at least the rate is going up. It’s not much, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
“However, what’s baffling me is why the increase isn’t much, much, more.
“After all, Britain can afford military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya. And on a recent visit to Pakistan, David Cameron announced that Britain would be giving up to £650 million in foreign aid to help with education. We’re also prepared to bail out Portugal.
“Yet at the same time, we can’t afford to pay our own people a living wage. Something doesn’t add up here.”
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