Women to benefit from tomorrow's minimum wage rise
Women will be the main winners when the minimum wage rises tomorrow.
Almost 900,000 workers – most of them women – will get a pay rise in the morning thanks to the 2.5% increase to Britain's basic pay rate, says the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The minimum wage is set to increase by 15p to £6.08 per hour for adults; by 6p to £4.98 for 18 to 20-year-olds; and by 4p to £3.68 for 16 and 17-year-olds. The rate for apprentices will increase by 10p to £2.60 an hour.
Help for thousands
"The rise will put extra cash in the pockets of the UK's lowest-paid workers when they can ill afford to have their pay squeezed by inflation," says Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary.
"The minimum wage has already helped hundreds of thousands of families without causing significant job losses and its success has shown that despite much scare-mongering from some employers, sensible labour market regulation is good for business."
The pay rise is also good news for the government's coffers – it is expected to net £230 million for the treasury because of higher tax and national insurance rates, as well as lower benefits payments.
Unions are now petitioning the Low Pay Commission to make next year's increase large. Some union leaders believe it needs to rise to above £8 an hour in order to be classes as an acceptable 'living wage'.
A scheme originally established in 1944 to provide protection against sickness and unemployment as well as helping fund the National Health Service (NHS) and state benefits. NI contributions are compulsory and based on a person’s earnings above a certain threshold. There are several classes of NI, but which one an individual pays depends on whether they are employed, self-employed, unemployed or an employer. Payment of Class 1 contributions by employees gives them entitlement to the basic state pension, the additional state pension, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits. From April 2016, to qualify for the full state pension, individuals will need 35 years’ of NI contributions.
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).