National Minimum Wage could rise again

The
National Minimum Wage could be increased again next year after the Low Pay
Commission was told to review it.

Trade
and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt told the Low Pay Commission – the
independent body that advises the Government on the minimum wage – to review
current levels and make recommendations for change, if appropriate.

The
Commission will look at the effect of the minimum wage on employment,
competitiveness, training and impact on businesses in low pay sectors.

It
will report back to Hewitt and Prime Minister Tony Blair by the end of February
2003.

Hewitt
said: “The Low Pay Commission has been instrumental in ensuring that the
National Minimum Wage has been one of this government’s success stories.
Despite some of the scepticism before the minimum wage became law in April
1999, it is now supported on all sides. The Low Pay Commission’s
recommendations have struck the right balance between benefiting over 1.5
million low pay workers, without putting an undue burden on business.”    

The
National Minimum Wage is currently £4.10 an hour, although it will be increased
by 10p an hour in October this year.

By Paul Nelson

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