Jersey politician wants rise in minimum wage

Hospitality industry worker
Image caption Increasing the minimum wage "would encourage more people to work in farming and hospitality"

A Jersey politician argues the minimum wage should be half of the average salary in the island.

Deputy Geoff Southern believes the current rate of £6.32 an hour is too low and it should be more than £8.

He said it was currently about 40% of the average wage and it did not reflect the cost of living.

The deputy said: "If we actually paid the proper rate for the job then maybe more people would take up low-paid work."

He also claims a more generous minimum wage would stop taxpayers' money being used to subsidise low earners through income support.

'Nobody can survive'

He said Jersey should look into having a "living wage".

Deputy Southern said: "If we were to adopt the standard of 50% of the average wage instead of 40% for the minimum wage, that would take it up to just over £8 an hour.

"That starts to look like something that is reasonable on which people can actually make a living in Jersey.

"Maybe we'd get local people going back into agriculture and the hospitality trade where they are loathe to work nowadays because, quite frankly, the wage rates are too low and nobody can survive on those types of wages."

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