Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/478/2159
From The Socialist newspaper, 15 March 2007
Minimum wage insult
THE 'GENEROUS' October increase in the adult minimum wage will be 17p an hour - effectively a pay cut for over a million low-paid workers.
The change in the minimum wage from £5.35 to £5.52 an hour is only a 3% increase, despite an 11-year high of almost 5% in the Retail Price Index measure of inflation.
For 18-21 year-olds, the minimum wage will go from £4.45 to £4.60, while 16 and 17 year-olds get a massive rise of 10p to £3.40. The minimum wage change was set by trade secretary Alistair Darling, following the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission.
The bosses' club the CBI should be happy though, after complaining that higher pay rises would "damage business", ie dent the billionaires' profits. Its deputy director-general, John Crindland, has the nerve to say: "With recent rises in inflation and interest rates, this is the year for restraint in the national minimum wage, just as we have seen in the public-sector pay awards."
"Any further heavy increases would also harm many businesses struggling with high energy and pensions costs," Crindland claimed, as if workers do not have utility bills, mortgages or loans to pay.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) calls for a £6 an hour minimum wage with no reduction for 18-21 year-olds. The Socialist Party supports this call, as a step towards a minimum wage of £8 an hour, close to two-thirds of the average wage.
However decent pay, like decent pensions, cannot be won just by politely asking New Labour. It requires organised action by trade unions.
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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 15 March 2007:
£billions for rich... Pennies for us!
Minimum wage insult
Socialist Party NHS campaign
UNISON Health group votes for summer demo
Hewitt's 'day of exchange'
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fighting the cuts in Camden
Lambeth council attacks services for vulnerable people
Barking BNP don't oppose council cuts
Lewisham council's outrageous attack
Kurdish asylum seekers living in fear
Northern Ireland and Scotland
Northern Ireland Assembly elections: Another sectarian headcount...
We Won't Pay Campaign conference success
Solidarity builds party profile ahead of elections
Marxist analysis: history
February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?
International socialist news and analysis
US continues threats over Iran's nuclear ambitions
Iraq war: Convicted Bush official is 'fall guy' over WMD scandal
International Women's Day
Celebrating International Women's Day
Tenants vote no to council housing sell-off
Market-driven 'social housing' threatens tenants
Environment and socialism
Will government plans stop climate change?
Build the campaign to defeat fees
International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Students conference
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Trade Unions and the Labour Party: CWU branch asks some awkward questions
Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference
Workplace news and analysis
Reinstate Dave Condliffe now
UNISON leaders lead members into dead end
SOUTHAMPTON council strike
PCS prepares for more struggles
Right wins lecturers' union leadership - on a 14% turnout
The Socialist 15 March 2007 |
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