The statutory national minimum wage has now been in place for ten years. When it was introduced on 1 April 1999 it was set at £3.60. At the time of its introduction many argued that it would result in a loss of jobs but that did not happen. As from last October the adult rate for the minimum wage has been set at £5.73.
A minimum wage and a living wage are not the same thing. Few want to work for the legal minimum. The point is that the existence of a legal minimum wage put an end to the poverty wages which were paid to over a million people prior to its introduction in 1999.
This article is from Gavin Strang’s Spring 2009 Constituency Update.