The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on the government to increase the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates 'immediately' in order to guarantee decent living standards for families.
Research carried out by the TUC found that UK poverty levels are 'likely to get worse' if ministers continue to hold down pay. Additional financial support for families announced by the Treasury this year will be offset by cuts to real-terms pay and other living costs, the business group added.
The TUC has called for key workers to be given a fair pay rise to meet the costs of living; more funding for the public sector so that all outsourced workers are paid at least the real Living Wage; and a boost in Universal Credit to 80% of the Real Living Wage.
Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said:
'Every worker should be able to afford a decent standard of living. But millions of low-paid workers live wage packet to wage packet, struggling to get by – and they are now being pushed to the brink by eye-watering bills and soaring prices.
'For too long workers have been told that businesses can't afford to pay them more. But again and again the evidence has shown that firms are still making profits and increasing jobs – we can afford higher wages.
'And higher wages are good for the economy – more money in the pockets of working people means more spend on our high streets.
'It's time to put an end to low-pay Britain. Let's get wages rising in every corner of the country and get on the pathway to a £15 per hour minimum wage.'
Internet link: TUC website