Minimum wage to rise in October
Good news to hear that the minimum wage is rising in October from £5.52 to £5.73/hour (£4.60 to £4.77 for 18-21 year olds, from £3.40 to £3.53 for 16-17 year olds).
It's not just that this will put more money in the pockets of nearly a million people on low incomes, and their families, good as that is. It's also a sign that the government is starting to recognise that employers need to do their bit to help reduce poverty. Over the past decade, the government has spent billions and billions on topping up people's wages through the tax credits system, and people living in poverty have found jobs, worked hard, learned new skills, and juggled work with caring responsibilities - and yet the number of people in work but also in poverty has rocketed.
Those who think that it is 'anti-business' to say that employers need to take their fair share of responsibility for tackling poverty amongst people who are working ought to listen to employers like KPMG and Barclays. They put their wages in London up to at least £7.20/hour (plus guaranteed sick pay) and found that productivity increased and staff turnover decreased - so everyone ended up better off.