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Minimum wage is too close to slave labour

Published 07/01/2014

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

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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