TUC calls for commitment to raise minimum wage further

The TUC has urged the Low Pay Commission not to listen “to the bleatings of business leaders” when it reviews the minimum wage later this year.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s rise in the minimum wage from £4.85 to £5.05, TUC Midlands regional secretary Roger McKenzie said a further increase next year would be easily affordable and would have no adverse effect on the economy or jobs.

“With each minimum wage increase comes the predictable wave of protest from business saying that it cannot afford another rise,” he said.

“Every year miserly bosses say any wage boost will be at the expense of jobs, but every year their predictions of doom and gloom fail to materialise.

‘When the Low Pay Commission reviews the minimum wage later in the year, I urge it not to listen too closely to the bleatings of UK business leaders,” McKenzie added.

Earlier this week, Kevin Hawkins, director-general of the British Retail Consortium, said recommendations for the October 2006 level should be made in light of the state of the economy at the time. 

“With slow retail sales growth and an uncertain economic climate, retailers are becoming very apprehensive that the Low Pay Commission will endorse its recommendation of £5.35, which could severely impact upon wage differentials, recruitment rates, benefit packages and redundancies,” he said.

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