Workers To Get Minimum Wage Of £8?
Are we on the brink of a service industry filled with cheery individuals with diamond teeth?
It could well happen if the unions get their way in their requests to get the national minimum wage upped to £8 an hour.
Unions are pressing for a "living wage" of £8 an hour ahead of an increase in the statutory rate from tomorrow which will see it meander through the £6 barrier for the first time.
If you didn't know (and would like to start checking your wageslip), the adult rate goes up by 15p to £6.08 from Saturday, by 6p to £4.98 for 18- to 20-year-olds, and up by 4p to £3.68 for 16- and 17-year-olds. The apprentice rate goes up by 10p to £2.60.
So with that, Unison reckon that they'll be pushing for a further increase which is in line with the rising cost of living.
General secretary Dave Prentis said: "More than 10 years on, the minimum wage has become a valuable safety net for millions of workers. It is a lasting legacy of the trade union and labour movement The rise to £6.08 is a welcome cushion, but with the price of everyday essentials such as food, gas and electricity going up massively, it won't lift enough working people out of the poverty trap.
"We want a more substantial figure and a decent living wage for all - a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, regardless of age. Good employers should be looking at the mounting pressures on their workforce and paying them more than the absolute minimum.
"The Government must be vigilant in enforcing the minimum wage - those earning the least should not have to suffer the most because of the recession. Without decent pay they will sink further into poverty and the economy will fail to recover."
If this goes through, would we see a more cheery workforce? Or is the answer not an increase in wage, but rather, a lowering of tax and VAT on products?