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[February 22, 2014]
Minimum wage is the going rate in the UK service sector
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Professor Sir George Bain, founding father of the national minimum wage, says that, 15 years on from its creation, the policy is no longer doing its job. On the whole, the pay floor has been a success until now, lifting many out of extreme low pay. The problem today is that the minimum wage of pounds 6.31 has become the going rate in many sectors. Workers start on it, and stay on it. It is not what Bain had in mind. And for every worker on the minimum, there is another one earning just 50p more. So much for an upward ripple effect. Given that call centres are renowned for being among the lowest payers, is David Cameron really wise to seize on news from telecoms group EE that it is bringing back customer services jobs from overseas? And for a government vowing to rebalance the economy, shoring up manufacturing should be the focus, not yet more jobs in the services sector.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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