20 years of the National Minimum Wage – what has been the impact?
On 1 April 1999 the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was introduced in the UK – a £3.60 wage for everyone aged 23 and over.
According to a UK government report from the Low Pay Commission 30% of workers have benefited either directly or indirectly from the minimum wage – with up to 7 million individuals a year feeling the benefits. But what do other commentators think? Try these links to make up your own mind:
- In a special blog posting the Resolution Foundation- found that it had not led to unemployment
- However at the same time ‘Reductions in hours worked, particularly amongst lower earning men, have countered the inequality reducing impact of the NMW.
- According to the TUC workers between 21-24 have missed out
- Unison also highlights similar issues and GMB makes the point about a much greater rise in bosses wages
- Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs has written for CapX on the 20th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage on the relationship between the wage and the war on poverty
- Also useful is IFS 2018 report on living standards and the impact of the National Minimum Wage. It makes some positive remarks but also adds, however, that ‘the minimum wage is not particularly well targeted at low-income households, as many low-wage workers are members of middle-income households and many of the poorest in society are not in work at all.’ They have also published a brief review of the possible impact of the recent rise in wages
- Joseph Rowntree Foundation campaigns of a living wage and has materials on its website about in work poverty