'Gordon Brown may think he can win some votes with this nod to the low paid
but UNISON, and our members, will not be hoodwinked into believing that
something is better than nothing by this 10% increase. With an election
looming, it is just gesture politics.
'A ten percent increase may sound a lot but it still less than£8,000 for a
full week's work. Does that sound like a fair wage, let alone a living
wage? In this growing economy the minimum wage has only just kept pace with
the rise in earnings. This increase will not push any futher into the
pockets of poverty pay.
'The government originally said that the minimum wage would help around 2
million people and they have had to lower their estimates with each report
from the Low Pay Commission. Even with this increase the government will
have only reached half their target, leaving millions still on the poverty
'The government have listened all along to the doom and gloom merchants who
predicted that even by introducing a minimum wage jobs would be lost and
they were wrong. It is the low paid and the tax payer, through in-work
benefits, who have been left to pick up the bill for scrooge employers who
still don't give a decent day's pay for a decent day's work.
'UNISON will continue arguing for a£5 living wage. A minimum which means
that nobody in full time work should fall below the poverty line or be
reliant on state benefits.'
* The FT article is available here.