Unison calls for £6.50 minimum wage

The
head of the largest public sector union has called for a flat-rate minimum wage
of £6.50, according to newspaper reports.

Unison’s
general secretary, Dave Prentis,
made the call on the day the Government boosted the threshold to £4.85 for
workers aged over 21.

The
union came to the £6.50 figure using a formula which calculates the minimum
income needed by a family or individual to "ensure good health, adequate
child development and social inclusion".

It
made its submission to the Low Pay Commission, arguing that the Government was
subsiding low paying employers through in-work benefits used to top up those on
poverty pay.

"Why
should workers have to go cap in hand to the Government because they cannot
live on poverty wages?" he said.

Prentis said the taxpayer was
effectively subsidising employers who boost their profits by cutting wages.

From
Friday, minimum wage workers over 22 will see their pay rise to £4.85, up from
£4.50 and workers aged 18 to 21 will see pay rise 30p to £4.10.

By Mike Berry

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