Monday, 15 April 2013
Minimum wage up but still far short of a livable wage
Today comes the news of an increase in the national minimum wage. Adult minimum wage increases by 12p to £6.31; fewer than 21s by 5p to £5.03 and under 18s by 4p to £3.72 Whilst I welcome the increase its tiny compared to the cost of living costs for many in the UK. There was much talk of the government cutting or freezing the minimum wage so it is a surprise this increase but let’s not get too excited 12 p for working adults will hardly help cover that expensive rent or help you heat your house and feed your children Its an increase but not something we should cheer too loudly about. A national living wage or a liveable wage I like to call it as labour trumpet a living wage but it would be nowhere near enough. A liveable wage would keep in line with inflation and be linked to average earnings in the country meaning that work always paid. A tiny increase for workers in times of huge hardship for many is an absolute insult. What is labours response I wonder? Will they say this does not go far enough that they’d pledge to bring in a grunted proper living wage or will it be more hot air from the countries second pro capitalist party. No doubt the Tories will play this up and make out we should be grateful and a increase is always something to be pleased of but at this level life will be barely any different than it is now with rising costs of living not looking to come down anytime soon this is just another slap in the face of ordinary working class families. It’s clear we need a party who represents the struggles of working class people standing up for the voiceless. Giving workers hope and standing for a decent level of living for the 99%. Labour has shown itself to be unable to do this so we need a new party of the working class in my view. TUSC could be the start of such a party but at the present time it’s only an electoral vehicle we do need the trade unions to put their money where their mouth is and back the calls for a new party of workers.