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Split on bid to raise the minimum wage to £7

By Alan Jones

Members of the Low Pay Commission appear to be split on whether to recommend a 50p-an-hour rise in the national minimum wage to £7.

With wages set to be one of the main issues of the May general election, the decision by the commission on what it believes the new rate should be is eagerly awaited.

The commissioners, including representatives of business, unions and academics, will meet in the coming weeks to decide what to recommend to the Government.

The adult minimum wage increased from £6.31 an hour to £6.50 last October and a new rate will come into force in October this year. But ministers are expected to decide before the general election what the new statutory minimum will be.

Labour has already pledged to raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour over the course of the next parliament if it wins power in May, while Chancellor George Osborne has suggested it could increase to £7 this year as the economy improves.

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