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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Heeley MP welcomes wage increase

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Sheffield Heeley MP Meg Munn has welcomed the news that more than a million workers, two thirds of them low paid women, will benefit from a rise in the National Minimum Wage from £5.35 to £5.52 an hour from October.

 

The government has accepted the level recommended by the independent Low Pay Commission which will also mean increases from £4.45 to £4.60 for 18-21 year olds, and from £3.30 to £3.40 for 16-17 year olds.

 

Meg said:

 

“This announcement will make a real difference to the wages of many in my constituency, many of whom are women. It means the minimum wage has gone up by almost 30% more than inflation since 1999 when, for the first time, employees could be guaranteed a minimum income.

 

When you consider that just 10 years ago cleaners were paid as little as £1.30 an hour and security guards £2.25 an hour, the minimum wage has been a huge success for employees and for some of the most vulnerable workers in Britain. I am proud of the minimum wage, of how it is helping families and of the role it plays in increasing living standards.”

 

Since October last year the minimum wage for adults, combined with Working Tax credits and other benefits, has guaranteed an income of at least £268 a week for families with one child and one full-time worker.

 

In January new measures came into force to back the minimum wage with tougher enforcement. These include:

 

  • a typical penalty for underpaying a single worker is now more than £200,
  • employers who fail to pay the minimum wage can face prosecution, risking a criminal record and a £5,000 fine, and
  • the Government has already targeted hairdressing and childcare sectors for enforcement. The next sector will be hotels, followed by hospitality.  

Since 1999 the Government has helped tens of thousands of workers recover £22.6 million in unpaid wages.


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