Tim is a great campaigner for the low paid..
Tim is a great campaigner for the low paid..


The Minimum Wage was arguably the greatest achievement of the last Labour Government, helping many impoverished workers in Grimsby and elsewhere to achieve a real improvement in their standard of living. It was opposed initially by the Tories, who said it’d have a negative impact on employment.  There were also those that it’d be better for people to have a low paid job than none, an argument that seems to want Britain to be a sweatshop economy.

Nevertheless, once implemented on 1st April 1999, the Minimum Wage proved to be a great success. The jobless total didn’t rise as a result, and the extra money people had in their pockets helped local businesses to thrive and prosper.

So as with the NHS a couple of generations earlier, the Minimum Wage became an accepted part of British life that the Tories, so hostile originally, didn’t attempt to alter the legislation once in office. The Minimum Wage therefore rose from its initial level of £3.60 per hour to £8.72 from April 2020. Indeed, it was scheduled to go up to £9.21 as of April 2021.

Scheduled sadly is the right word. For the Chancellor has decreed that the poorest workers will suffer as he tries to get the economy on an even keel. Thus, April 2021 will only see a rise of 19p per hour in the Minimum Wage, to just £8.91.

With non-pension benefits slated to rise by well under 1% at the same time, it is clear who the Tories want to pay for the Covid 19 pandemic. That’s right, those who can least afford to do so.

Still, what do you expect with the Tories?


Tim Mickleburgh.

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