Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Minimum wage is too close to slave labour

OUR grandson has the misfortune to live in an area of high unemployment. Since he left school eight years ago, a few casual jobs only have come his way.

He is grateful to be in a dilapidated flat and we have subsidised his meagre income.

So imagine his – and our – joy when he was offered a job which lasted more than one month.The job was manual shift work at unsocial hours, 35-hours a week at the minimum wage. Our joy was short-lived. Our grandson was marginally worse off on the minimum wage than on the dole.

Deducting from his net wage his regular commitments, he was left with £9 per week for clothes, toiletries, sundries and unforeseen expenses. We continue to subsidise him from our pensions.

The minimum wage is a travesty and should equate to a statutory living wage. Employers paying it are, in effect, only a step away from employing slave labour.

R J RICKARD

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