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TUC calls for higher than inflation rise to minimum wage
The TUC is to meet with the Low Pay Commission (LPC), where it will argue that it should recommend raising the adult national minimum wage (NMW) next year by more than the rate of inflation.
The LPC, which advises the government on the NMW, is currently considering the rates for the period from October 2012 to September 2013.
The TUC will tell the LPC that a rise by more than the retail prices index (RPI) or the growth in average earnings - depending on which is higher - is both necessary and affordable, and will help address the loss in the real value of the NMW caused by below-inflation increases in the rate in previous years.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Last year the LPC recommended a 2.5% increase to the adult minimum wage rate which turned out to be too modest. Inflation is outstripping both average earnings and the minimum wage, causing a huge squeeze on living standards - particularly for the low paid.
'Although economic recovery will be slow most economists agree that the prospects for growth in 2012 and 2013 will be better than this year, so employers should be able to sustain a bigger increase next time.
'The LPC should also recommend the extension of the minimum wage to excluded workers, including some domestic workers and seafarers, and continue to tighten up on enforcement.'
The TUC submission also strongly opposes the abolition of the agricultural wages board (AWB) for England and Wales, which protects vulnerable farm workers from exploitation.
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