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MANDY SPARKS MINIMUM ROW

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Minister without portfolio Peter Mandelson has sparked a row over the minimum wage. At the Labour party conference ...
Minister without portfolio Peter Mandelson has sparked a row over the minimum wage. At the Labour party conference in Brighton, Mandelson yesterday suggested that the government had already decided to set a different rate for young people, thus pre-empting the discussions of the Low Pay Commission. Later he insisted he had only been referring to trainees. But The Times (p11) reveals that the government has changed its own guidance for the commission to include the option of exempting people under the age of 25.

The paper quotes Unison leader Rodney Bickerstaffe who is said to be 'incandescent'. He said: 'I hope this is not a government diktat, and that the commission can come to its conclusions without any undue pressure.'

The Financial Times (p8) quotes general secretary of the Trades Union Congress John Monks who warned that the unions expected the minimum wage to apply to all 'fully trained adult workers under 25'.
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