IAN’S COMMENTS ON TODAY’S NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE ANNOUNCEMENT

Ian Murray MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Minister, commenting on today’s National Minimum Wage announcement, said:

“Youth unemployment is at the highest rate since records began, with over a million young people unable to find work.  So it is disappointing that the only response from this out of touch Government to the job crisis facing our young people is to impose a real terms cut to their wages.

“This is the first time that the development rate for young people will not rise. The Low Pay Commission’s recommendation represents a vote of no-confidence in the Government’s handling of the economy and the prospects for recovery.

“If the Tory-led Government was serious about tackling youth unemployment they would back Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee by repeating the bank bonus tax and using the money raised to help create 100,000 jobs for young people, which they would be required to take up. We have also called on the government to use public procurement to boost apprenticeship opportunities, but they have failed to do so.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

1.        The historical rates of the national minimum wage, including the development rate for 18-20 year olds, can be found here – http://www.lowpay.gov.uk/

2.        In its final evidence to the Low Pay Commission 2011, published in December 2011 the Government argued that there are “extra reasons to be cautious and moderate in recommending NMW rates for young people”.

“All of the factors that affect the main adult NMW apply to young people and there are also extra reasons to be cautious and moderate in recommending NMW rates for young people. Employment for the over 25s is already above pre-recessionary levels but for under 25s it is not.
This is at odds to the usual response to economic downturns where employment of young people tends to turn down earlier and faster than for older people but then to also recover faster. This time they have not as yet recovered faster. Furthermore, evidence suggests that labour market outcomes of younger workers are more at risk from the uprating of the NMW. “
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, National Minimum Wage, Final Government evidence to the Low Pay Commission 2011, p. 44,http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/n/12-513-national-minimum-wage-evidence-2011

“Given the position of young people in the labour market, we would like the LPC to explore all of the elements of the NMW on young people, including those on the apprentice rate, in order to see if recommendations in these areas could help to improve the employment status for young people.”
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, National Minimum Wage, Final Government evidence to the Low Pay Commission 2011, p. 44,http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/n/12-513-national-minimum-wage-evidence-2011

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