NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE RATES
UK's leading union, is warning that the minimum wage rate rise is
not enough to help the lowest paid cope with inflation. The union
said this was bad news for the economy, which is in desperate need
of strong demand to fuel growth and recovery. However, the British
Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned the government about further
rises that could damage job creation. "Even a small increase
in 2011's minimum wage could choke off retailers' vital potential to
create new jobs." they said just before the announcement.
UNISON response is that the rise in the adult rate, by 15p per hour,
is totally outstripped by the rising cost of basic living. They also
added that the 10p rise in the Apprentice Rate will not be enough to
help young people, hit hard by the recession. Dave Prentis, UNISON
General Secretary, said:- "This small increase is totally
outstripped by the rising cost of essentials like food and fuel. It
has been agreed that the vast majority of a low paid worker's pay is
eaten up by basic living costs, so increases in inflation hits them
hard. We know that many low paid workers are already struggling with
heavy debt. Others are cutting back on food, and what they spend on
their children. Not only does this show that many families are
really struggling - it's also bad news for local shops and
businesses. It's wrong to suggest that a smaller rise in the young
people's rate is better for businesses. Hitting young people's
spending power is a direct hit on those businesses. We need strong
demand in our economy to stimulate growth and recovery. Young people
also need a helping hand, as they are victims of a recession that
they did nothing to cause. A bigger rise would have also helped
restore the balance of fairness in our country - which is suffering
hugely under the Tories. It seems incredible that MPs can claim
expenses of £3.2 million in just 2 months, but young people are
fobbed off with an extra 10p." But as Stephen Robertson,
from the BRC, said in a press statement:- "The government must
strike the right balance between higher wages and more jobs. Trading
conditions are tough, higher costs, such as next April's National
Insurance increase will pile on even more pressure for small
The new rates, which will come into force on 1 October 2011, are as
► £6.08 per hour for workers aged 21 and over - a 2.5% increase on
the current £5.93 rate.
► £4.98 per hour for 18 to 20 year olds - a 1.2% increase on the
current £4.92 rate.
► £3.68 per hour for 16 to 17 year olds - a 1.1% increase on the
current £3.64 rate.
► £2.60 apprentice rate - a 4% increase on the current £2.50 rate.
BRC has also said that next year's increase must be no more than
1.7%, as a larger rise would seriously impede retailers' ability to
maintain and create jobs.
All this comes as the government is also cracking down on employers
who flout the minimum wage laws. It said it would name and shame
offenders, publicising breaches when found.
So what do our readers think about these views? Email us to
firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
Did you know that when Labour introduced the national minimum wage
in 1999, it was at a rate of £3.60 an hour?
LIVERPUDLIANS CALLED ON TO BECOME A COMMUNITY PARENTING VOLUNTEER
Hargreaves Centre in Everton, in the heart of the City, runs a
Community Parenting Programme in partnership with the Liverpool
Women’s Hospital. This programme involves parents supporting other
parents who have asked for support to help them care for their
children. They are calling on people in the Liverpool area to help
make a difference to the lives of families across the region, by
inviting people to become a community parenting volunteer.
“The pairing scheme gives the parent another person to turn to for
emotional and personal support. The volunteers will work with
families in Liverpool 8 and surrounding area to help them build on
their own strengths and abilities, helping them to care for their
children safely. The families we work with are often first time
parents and just need some extra help and support. This scheme gives
them the opportunity to build up a friendship with another parent
who they can confide in and who can provide a support network. We
want them to be able to relax and express themselves freely to
someone who has the time to listen and support them.”
said the NSPCC.
Following a successful recruitment drive last year, the NSPCC is now
particularly appealing for both men and women who have a couple of
hours to spare each week.
Lesley Moore Community parent co-ordinator added:- “We have a
dedicated number of volunteers but really need more parents to give
their time. We’re looking for people who can spare a couple of hours
per week, with a sensitive and caring attitude towards others,
reliable, a good listener and a good team player. In return we offer
a free structured training course and regular supervision.”
Joanne Lewis was one of the people who responded after last year’s
recruitment drive. She said:- “Bringing up my two children I
was lucky enough to have a supportive network of friends and family
around me, but not all families are as fortunate as my own and I
decided I wanted to do something to make a difference. When I heard
about the NSPCC community parenting programme I decided to give it a
go and I’ve never looked back.”
Tracey Ugboaje Community Parent said:- “We’ve built up a great
friendship and we meet once a week and sit and chat about whats been
going on, sometimes we will go for a walk. To know I’m giving
another parent the chance to chat, relax and offer help and advice
is great and if they have any anxieties then I’m here to help and am
someone to trust. I find the role very rewarding and would recommend
it to anyone. if you’re prepared to give up a small amount of time
for the sake of someone else its very worthwhile – and doesn’t cost
If you could spare a couple of hours per week and are interested in
finding out more about becoming a community parenting volunteer then
the NSPCC would love to hear from you. Please contact Lesley Moore
or Pauline Ashton on:- 0844 892 0264 or via
and find out more.
Opening of Liverpool’s new Museum of Liverpool
ON 19 July
2011 the Museum of Liverpool will open on a World Heritage Site at
the City's Pier Head. The museum will tell the definitive story of
Liverpool and its people and contain more than 6,000 items. More