Farron: Proposed 3% increase in Minimum Wage is welcome - But we must do more
Yesterday Vince Cable announced to MP's that the Low Pay Commission has recommended a 3% increase in the minimum wage to £6.50 an hour for adults from October. This news has been welcomed by South Lakes MP Tim Farron who has been campaigning for an increase in recent months.
If the government accepts the proposal, it would be the first increase in real terms since 2008, Mr Cable told MP's. "It is faster than inflation and that is the first time in six years that has happened," he said.
At present, the minimum wage is £6.31 an hour for adults and £5.03 an hour for 18 to 20-year-olds. The government usually accepts the Low Pay Commission's recommendations. The Independent Low Pay Commission in a letter to government ministers promises more above inflation rises saying: "We expect to recommend further progressive real increases in the value of the MW".
Tim recently asked 5,000 local residents to join his campaign to increase the minimum wage. He has been lobbying ministers over the last few months for an increase, but asking them to take into account the concerns of the local tourism sector and small businesses.
Over the New Year, Tim called for bigger fines for employers found to not be paying the minimum wage. In January, he was able to change the law - the Government announced that it will rise to £20,000 - over four times higher than the previous limit.
Tim said: "Our area has low unemployment but low wages. I have been pushing the Government very hard to look at this and then act, I'm delighted that the Independent Low Pay Commission have looked at the evidence and agreed that we must increase the minimum wage.
"I have long thought and argued that the minimum wage must rise. However we must be mindful of small businesses and the tourism sector."
"Additionally low and middle income earners will feel the benefit of the Liberal Democrat income tax cut in April that will save them over £700 a year compared to 2010."