MOST PEOPLE PAID
THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE HAVE TO CLAIM UK STATE BENEFITS TO KEEP
BODY AND SOUL TOGETHER
5.7% fall in GDP per head
since 2007 is the root cause of the 13.8% drop in the real value of
average earnings in the UK between April 2008 and November 2013 says
GMB commented on the announcement the government has approved a rise
in the National Minimum Wage to £6.50 per hour. See notes to editors
for copy of BIS press release.
Martin Smith, GMB National Organiser said:- "Most people who
are paid the National Minimum Wage have to claim UK state benefits
to keep body and soul together.
GMB is arguing for wages and sufficient hours of work for people to
live on and raise their families on.
We are a long way away from living standards recovering to pre-
recession levels. UK GDP output in 2013 was £23,894 per head which
is 5.7% below the £25,326 per head in 2007. This fall in output per
head is the root cause of the 13.8% drop in the real value of
average earnings in the UK between April 2008 and November 2013.
To promote a recovery we need employers to a living wage of £7.65
per hour and £8.80 per hour in London."
The government has approved a rise in the National Minimum Wage to
£6.50 per hour later this year (2014), with more than 1 million
people set to see their pay rise by as much as £355 a year.
The rise will take effect in October 2014, as Business Secretary
Vince Cable has accepted in full the independent Low Pay
Commission's recommendations for 2014, including plans for bigger
increases in future than in recent years.
The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has said the rise, the first real terms
cash increase since 2008, is manageable for employers and will
support full employment.
The National Minimum Wage rates from 1 October 2014, as recommended
by the LPC, will be:-
► 19p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour)
► 10p (2%) increase in the rate
for 18 to 20 year olds (from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour)
► 7p (2%) increase in the rate for
16 to 17 year olds (from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour)
► 5p (2%) increase in the rate for
apprentices (from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour)
Business Secretary Vince Cable
said:- "The recommendations I have accepted today (12 March
2014) mean that low paid workers will enjoy the biggest cash
increase in their take home pay since 2008. This will benefit over 1
million workers on National Minimum Wage and marks the start of a
welcome new phase in minimum wage policy.
The independent Low Pay Commission plays a crucial role in advising
the government about the minimum wage. This is why I asked them to
look at how we could restore the real value of the National Minimum
Wage as the economy recovers."
The LPC's new forward guidance gives us a much better understanding
of how an economic recovery can be translated into faster and
significant increases in the National Minimum Wage for low paid
workers, without costing jobs.
The experts will continue to advise government on future wage rises
to help the low paid, and in the meantime I urge businesses to
consider how all their staff; not just those on the minimum wage;
can enjoy the benefits of recovery.
The Business Secretary officially welcomed the LPC's assessment that
2014 will mark the start of a new phase of bigger increases,
provided economic conditions continue to improve.
This analysis of the prospects for rises that could restore the
value of the National Minimum Wage to its peak in real terms,
follows a specific request by the Business Secretary for the LPC to
provide forward guidance on what economic conditions would be
necessary to allow faster increases in National Minimum Wage without
harming employment rates.
It is the first time the government has been provided with a broader
evaluation of the issues that affect low pay, and it outlines what
kind of economic recovery is needed to ensure greater rises in
National Minimum Wage.
Local MEPs clash
- Nuttall branded "chicken"
LOCAL UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall
has been called:- "chicken" after he refused a challenge from
his Liberal Democrat opponent to take part in a series of election
debates this spring.
The gauntlet was thrown down by MEP Chris Davies, who called for the
head to head exchanges between politicians whose views on Europe
were diametrically opposed.
He said the contests could inject more interest into the campaign
for the European Parliament elections on 22 May 2014, and he urged local
business and voluntary groups to take a lead in organising the
events. Nuttall has now formally declined, saying that his
schedule "is already packed" but that he would debate
with Davies and other candidates at hustings.
The Liberal Democrats have questioned how packed Nuttall's schedule
can be given that he has an attendance rate of only 44.53% at the
European Parliament compared to 85.29% for Davies.
His response has drawn scorn from the Liberal Democrat MEP, who said
that hustings were no replacement for head to head debates in the
North West similar to the national 'Nick versus Nigel'
debates scheduled to be held between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg.
The national debates will be held on 26 March on LBC Radio and 2
April on BBC2.
Davies said:- "I am disappointed but not surprised that Paul
Nuttall has declined my challenge. He gets away too often with
talking nonsense about the EU and I am one of the few people able to
UKIP's policies present a threat to jobs in the North West of
England, and will lose Britain influence in the world. They will
damage our economy and leave us weak.
The contrast between the views of Liberal Democrats and UKIP could
scarcely be greater and people in the region we both represent
should have the chance to hear Paul Nuttall and I go head to head.
Instead the UKIP man has turned chicken."
Town Hall to
welcome Rwandan Torch
LIVERPOOL will welcome the
Rwandan torch this week as it tours the nation to commemorate the
20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide. The Kwibuka flame
will be received on Friday, 14 March 2014, ahead of the annual
commemoration service which will take place at the Town Hall on
Wednesday, 24 April 2014 .
Liverpool's Lord Mayor, Councillor Gary Millar said:- "I am
honoured to be welcoming the Kwibuka Flame to the City of Liverpool.
This is an opportunity to honour all of those who have suffered at
the hands of extremists and ensure that their memories live on.
It is vitally important that we never forget the 1 million people
who died in just 100 days and the impact that had on their families
and the great nation of Rwanda. We must also never forget all
victims of genocide and other atrocities elsewhere in the world. I
believe it is our collective responsibility to educate both the
young and older to ensure that such hateful crimes do not take place
in the future."
Local MP for West Derby Stephen Twigg, said:- "Remembering
honours and dignifies the memory those innocent lives lost in the
genocide. We are honoured to be involved in the 20th anniversary
commemorations of this significant date in history, I hope this
serves as a reminder that such injustice will not be tolerated or
The "Kwibuka Flame" of remembrance was lit in January
in Kigali before beginning a countrywide lap of honour in the run-up
to 7 April 2014, the beginning of the national mourning period. The
event to light the flame marked the beginning of preparations for
the 20th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.