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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 1999): Minimum Wage - UK

A CLEAN START

K. Mahoney
People Management, vol. 4, no. 12, 11 June 1998, p. 31

Argues that a minimum wage will set up a level playing field, where firms will compete on the grounds of quality of service, superior organisation, skills, creativity and innovation not on the basis of how little their workers are paid.

FRENCH MINIMUM WAGE RISE WILL BE HIGHER THAN INFLATION

R. Graham
Financial Times, 25th June 1998, p. 2

Reports that the purchasing power of lower income groups has been boosted by raising the minimum wage by 2%. The government argues that the increase can be absorbed by employers and will have the beneficial effect of fuelling domestic demand.

MAKING THE MOST OF THE MINIMUM: STATUTORY MINIMUM WAGES, EMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY

In Employment outlook June 1998. Paris: OECD, 1998, p. 31-77

Report states that minimum wages are not the solution for family poverty and may lead to job losses, especially for young people. The higher the minimum wage the more it hits youth employment. A 10% rise in the minimum rate is associated with a fall of 1.5 to 3 per cent in teenage employment. Minimum wages tend to help families with above average incomes because many low-paid workers live in such households, while failing to help households with no workers at all. The OECD estimates that 40% of people on low incomes live in households where nobody has paid work.

THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE: FIRST REPORT OF THE LOW PAY COMMISSION

Low Pay Commission
London: TSO, 1998. (Cm 3976)

Describes the work of the Low Pay Commission in establishing the pattern of low pay, defining earnings which may count towards the minimum wage, choosing the rate for the minimum wage, assessing its impact and considering how it should be implemented and enforced. Recommends an initial rate of £3.60 per hour to be introduced in April 1999, rising to £3.70 in June 2000. The initial development rate for young people should be £3.20 per

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