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Proposal for a 34p minimum wage increase

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THE minimum wage could be upped by 34p next April, if States Members agree.

Deputy Geoff Southern (28930591)

Deputy Geoff Southern, who has regularly campaigned for significant increases to the Island’s minimum wage, has lodged a proposition which would set Jersey’s minimum pay rate at £8.66.

The minimum wage was raised to £8.32 in April this year.

In 2018, the States Assembly agreed that the minimum wage should be raised so that it is at 45% of the average wage by the end of 2020.

Deputy Southern said: ‘This move simply ensures that the States belatedly keeps its promise to raise the minimum wage to 45% of the average wage and it comes as many workers are struggling to make ends meet in the post Covid-19 economy.

‘The Chief Minister [John Le Fondré], along with many of his ministerial colleagues, has recently recognised that the best way to get the economy moving is to put cash in the pockets of those on low earnings. Rather than one-off random bonuses, raising the minimum wage will provide welcome permanent support and help to reduce income inequality in the workforce. I look forward to Senator Le Fondre’s support on our shared priority from the Common Strategic Policy.’

One of the five core aims of the Common Strategic Policy – set out at the beginning of the term of ministerial government – was to reduce income inequality.

Deputy Southern added: ‘We need to recognise that the minimum wage, even following this rise, puts those on the minimum wage well below the relative low-income mark and remains less than in the UK [£8.72].

‘This proposal further requires the “productivity plan”, long promised by the Economic Development Minister [Lyndon Farnham] to be delivered at the same time.’

The productivity plan is designed to set out a proposal for improving productivity among the lowest-paid sectors.

The proposition is due to be debated in the States sitting beginning on Tuesday 8 September.

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