National minimum wage

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Dear Colleagues,

National Minimum Wage

Details of what the rates of the National Minimum Wage will be in October 2013 have been announced. The adult rate will increase by just 1.9% to £6.31, while the two rates for young workers as well as the apprentice rate are set to increase by only around 1 – 1.1%.

The rates from 1st October 2013 will be:

 

Current rate

Oct 2013

Increase

Adults

£6.19

£6.31

1.9%

18-20 year olds

£4.98

£5.03

1%

16 and 17 year olds

£3.68

£3.72

1.1%

Apprentice rate (for those under 19 years old, or in the first year of their course)

£2.65

£2.68

1.1%

Maximum daily offset for cost of accommodation

£4.82

£4.91

1.9%

These low increases amount to a cut in the real value of the National Minimum Wage as they are well below the current level of inflation. In the year to February 2013, inflation - as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) - was 3.2%.

Not only are the minimum wage rates effectively being cut, they are already well below the minimum level needed for subsistence. (The Living Wage Foundation is calling for an hourly rate within London of £8.55, and an hourly rate of £7.55 for people working outside of London).

In submissions to the government, the RMT will continue to argue that the National Minimum Wage must be set at a significantly higher level to ensure that all workers are kept out of poverty; that the regulations must be extended to all seafarers serving in UK territorial waters to help safeguard minimum standards and that the age-related NMW rates should be abolished and the full adult rate be paid from 16 (until the school leaving age is raised to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015).

The Union will also continue its campaign for the NMW to be set at two-thirds of male median earnings and for the abolition of the accommodation offset levied on seafarers on the NMW.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Crow

General Secretary