Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced that the Low Pay Commission has recommended to raise the minimum wage from £6.31 an hour to £6.50, an increase of 3%.
He told MPs that, “It is faster than inflation and that is the first time in six years that has happened.” He also said it would be the first rise in real terms since 2008 if the change went ahead.
The news has not been greeted gleefully by Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of the Unite union. He has claimed this is a “slap in the face for low paid workers.” He went on to say that an “hourly rise of 19p for adults is an insult when the minimum cost of living has increased by a staggering 25% since the beginning of the economic crisis.”
In contrast, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has said that this change is “welcome” and that he hopes it “will give real help to the low paid”.
This comes as the Government attempts to deal with the cost of living crisis that has seen wages fall in real terms against rising inflation mean most are still more worse off than they were prior to the recession.
In January, the Chancellor George Osborne said to the BBC that “I believe Britain can afford an above-inflation increase in the minimum wage, so we restore its real value for people, and so we have a recovery for all, and work always pays.”