Many low-income households could face debt management problems if the minimum wage is frozen due to the recession, it has been suggested.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to consider the hardship that poorer groups would encounter if the figure is maintained at its current level instead of going up.
Next week will see the LPC making a decision on whether to freeze the minimum wage, a move that businesses are pushing for in the economic downturn.
Commenting on this, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “It would not be fair to make the low paid suffer a freeze in wages and a lower quality of life while the city bankers still get their bonuses.”
He argued that increasing the sum will only have a “modest” effect on costs for employers.
Meanwhile, the Insolvency Service has revealed that a record number of bankruptcies and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) have been recorded in the first quarter of 2009.
By Jamie Price