The minimum wage has been cut by between 1% and 2.4%, despite the government claiming that the minimum wage rate increased in October. For workers aged 21 and over, the rate increased from £5.80 to £5.93 an hour – an extra £5.20 a week – but prices are rising at a faster pace. The lowest paid now have less money to spend on basics. According to government statistics, the Consumer Price Index measure of inflation is 3.1%. The Retail Price Index though (which is a more accurate measure of inflation for the low paid) is currently 4.6%. The minimum wage legislation discriminates against young workers (18-21 year olds are entitled to £4.92 an hour and 16 and 17 year olds are entitled to £3.64!) but Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s don’t have lower prices for young people. This cut is hitting the youngest and lowest paid workers in the country. That is why Socialist Youth is campaigning to abolish the youth exemptions and for an immediate increase to £8 minimum wage as a step towards a living minimum wage.
Assembly Executive must scrap fees
Student Unions' must call protest on 10th November
The Assembly Executive and Minster for Employment & Learning was today challenged to scrap fees. The Minister for Employment & Learning, Reg Empey, today decided to put out to public consultation the recommendations of the Browne Report which recommend unlimited fees for higher education courses.
“The strictest law often causes the most serious wrong.”
Earlier this evening British Airways was granted an injunction against a proposed 20 day strike by cabin crew. The decision was based on a technicality regarding the method UNITE used to inform cabin crew of the result of the ballot. This judgement has enormous implications for the whole of the trade union movement. For all practical purpose effective strike action that seriously damages the financial interests of the employer is now illegal. It was Tony Blair who once boasted that Britain had the most restrictive anti-trade union laws in the Western World. This judgement now relegates Britain below many neo-colonial countries in terms of trade union rights.
Support the socialist alternative
"What I say to people on the doorstep is we will only cut your throat slowly, the others will cut your head off" was a comment of New Labour MP for Blyth Valley in the North East, Ronnie Campbell, in a local paper. This message has been mirrored by New Labour chancellor Alistair Darling, when he admitted that public sector cuts will be 'deeper and tougher' than under the hated Tory regime of Margaret Thatcher.