UK National Minimum Wage

  1. Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus' 'minimum wage heroes'

    Hear from the people on low wages who are taking a risk to keep the country running.

  2. Higher minimum wage plans

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    cook

    Both Labour and Conservatives plan to raise the minimum wage, Labour fastest.

    Robert Joyce, deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies says "these are really big ambitious plans".

    For some employers this will push up their wage bills, especially in food and accommodation, he says. Critics say it could push up unemployment as a consequence, although that never seems to happen.

    "This history of minimum wage is one of repeated warnings" over unemployment, he says, "followed by reassurances after minimum wage rises have happened that doesn't seem to have materialised."

    But you can't have infinitely high wages without some effect, he maintains.

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Low wages in coastal communities: ‘We live on nothing’

    The Coram family live on a deprived estate in Penzance and say low wages make daily life a struggle.

  4. Should the minimum wage keep rising?

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    coffee shop worker

    The Chancellor has also been discussing the Resolution Foundation report out today which suggests low pay could be eliminated in the UK in the next five years or so.

    Progress in reducing low pay over the last few years is explained in part by the introduction and steady increase in the level of the minimum wage.

    So the question is, should the minimum wage continue to rise after 2020?

    "We would only do that if we can be confident that we can do that without damaging the employment prospects of people with lower skills," says Mr Hammond.

    He points out that initial fears back in the 1990s that the minimum wage would cost jobs were never realised, but says that doesn't mean further rises might not be damaging. So he's commissioning a review.

    "The key challenge is to support businesses so they can raise their productivity performance as the wages of their employees rises," he says.

    "Then you get a virtuous circle, where increases in the minimum wage incentivises improvements in productivity, which in turn allows employers to to pay higher wages still.

  5. Video content

    Video caption: Jeremy Corbyn: 'We will abolish the youth rate of the minimum wage'

    Jeremy Corbyn unveils plans for under-18s to be paid £10 an hour, rather than the current £4.35.