Study says 8.6m key workers have jobs with greatest threat to health and finances
With council budgets at breaking point, services need more resources to protect a sector already in crisis
Employees over 25 will receive a 6.2% pay rise equating to £930 a year for full-time worker
Philip Hammond is seriously considering a major increase to the minimum wage as he seeks to secure a legacy of ending low pay, it has emerged.
Several sources familiar with the chancellor’s thinking told the Observer they believed he was pushing to look at the “ambitious end” of what would be possible without damaging Britain’s employment levels, suggesting he is contemplating going further than any developed nation.
A proposal under discussion would see the minimum wage pushed up to 66% of median earnings, meeting the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s definition of low pay. It would allow the chancellor to say he had set a course to end low pay in Britain. The chancellor held a meeting with Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), last week, and he is understood to be meeting other union leaders at a round table this week. One government source said: “The chancellor is very concerned about poverty and sees this as one avenue of tackling it.”
Tens of thousands of NHS workers are struggling to get by on the minimum wage because their private sector employers are failing to match public sector pay rises.
The estimated 100,000 low-paid cleaners, porters, security guards and catering staff who work for private contractors in hospitals across England are being treated as “second-class employees”, thanks to a growing pay divide between public and private sector workers, according to the country’s leading health union.
Concerns about the pay gap come ahead of tax and benefit changes in the new tax year, starting this weekend, which have fuelled fears of widening inequality, despite claims by the government that the era of austerity is over.
In today’s Observer, Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, said that “adding up all the new tax and benefit changes for the year equals an average £280 income boost for the richest fifth of households, but a £100 reduction for the poorest fifth.
“This year’s income tax cuts are bumper ones for higher earners. If you earn £30,000 you’ll be £73 better off, but make that £327 for those of you on £60,000 – over four times as much. Our lowest 40% of earners will gain precisely zero,” Bell adds.
Last year, as part of a three-year deal negotiated by health unions, the lowest-paid workers in the NHS were given a £2,000 pay rise. But the overwhelming majority of health staff employed on private contracts have not received a penny, Unison says.
The union has called on the government to end the pay divide, which it claims is causing outsourced staff to leave in search of better-paid jobs.
The union wants everyone employed within the NHS to be on at least £9.03 an hour. Currently, Unison says, many staff employed by private contractors are on the minimum wage, which is £8.21, equating to an annual salary of £16,052, or £1,600 a year less than what the lowest-paid worker in the public sector is paid.
Grab your popcorn. This showdown between Philip Hammond and John McDonnell is everything. from The Canary on 8th September 2017
Not before time, good riddance.
Autumn statement 2016 Philip Hammond Theresa May Economics Economic policy EU referendum and Brexit Economic growth (GDP) Housing Office for Budget Responsibility Minimum wage Budget deficit Government borrowing
Again Osborne decided to side step the ‘Living Wage’ comment raised ny Martin Lewis in that it should not have been called the National Living Wage, as it is, as previously called, just the ‘Minimum Wage’. This was Osbornes attempt to confuse people into believing it was the Living Wage’. In fact many persons have already dropped mentioning ‘national’ and just call it living wage. This then allows certain employers to circumvent this topic when questioned.
‘It’s a little naughty’