National minimum wage predicted to reach £5.95 an hour

The national minimum wage (NMW) is likely to rise to about £5.95 an hour this year from its current level of £5.73, according payroll services firm PAYEpeople.

Last month, the TUC urged the government to increase the minimum wage to £6.10 per hour. The union group has always argued that the NMW has never had a detrimental effect on the UK economy.

However, the British Chambers of Commerce has a different point of view, and is urging the Low Pay Commission – which recommends NMW increases to the government – to keep the wage at its current level until economic conditions have significantly improved.

PAYEpeople said it had successfully forecast minimum wage rises for the past 10 years using specialist payroll software. According to the company, the new NMW is more likely to be close to the £5.95 mark – an increase of 3.8%.

The TUC said today (23 January) that nearly a decade after the NMW was introduced in April 1999, at least 1.5 million workers were still being cheated out of the wage by dishonest employers.

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