The Low Pay Commission has recommended a 3 per cent rise in the statutory minimum wage from 1 October 2014, lifting the main adult hourly rate from £6.31 to £6.50. Given the current inflation forecast of 2.3 per cent, this would represent a small real-terms increase – the first such increase for five years.
In a letter to the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, the Commission said the recommended rise would mean the number of jobs covered by the minimum wage would increase by over a third, to one and a quarter million.
Significantly, the Commission added that it expected to recommend further progressive real increases in the minimum wage. The Commission Chair, David Norgrove, said: 'Provided the economy continues to improve we expect to recommend further progressive real increases in the value of the minimum wage, restoring and then surpassing its previous highest level, so that 2014 will mark the start of a new phase – of bigger increases than in recent years – in the work of the Commission'.
The coalition government will now formally consider the Commission's recommendation, but the Prime Minister has already stated publicly that he is looking forward to accepting it.
Source: Letter to Vince Cable MP (Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills) 25 February 2014, Low Pay Commission
Links: Letter | Commission press release | JRF press release | TUC press release | Work Foundation blog post | BBC report | Daily Mail report | Guardian report (1) | Guardian report (2) | New Statesman report | Telegraph report