Is it right to raise the minimum wage in the current climate?

The government has acted on the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission, which is an independent body, to raise the minimum wage for adults by 2.5% to £6.08 per hour. This rise will take place in October. The minimum wage for those aged 18 to 20 will go up by 6p to £4.98 per hour, and the rate for 16-17 … Continue reading

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How does UK productivity compare?

Latest, revised estimates for 2009 show that the UK’s productivity level, when measured on a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker basis, was well below the G7 level and over 30% below the US performance, according to the Office for National Statistics. Whilst our productivity was higher than Japan’s, and broadly similar to Canada and Germany, it was below France, … Continue reading

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Work till you drop

The government has just started a consultation process with the view of scrapping the fixed retirement age from October 2011. This would mean that employers would no longer be able to ‘force’ workers to retire at age 65, as they can, and usually do, at the moment. The bad news is that you have to have a job in the … Continue reading

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Falling sterling: Advantages and disadvantages

Over the last three years the euro has gone up in value by 30% against sterling, whilst the dollar has risen by 20%. This fall in the value of the pound has been picked up in three articles which I have been reading over the weekend.   The first, published in the Telegraph online this morning, supplies some good news. … Continue reading

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Is retirement about to be abolished?

According to a report in the Times this morning, Harriet Harman, the Equalities Minister, is looking into the possibility of reforming retirement rights. In fact the decision not to put over-65s “out to pasture” has already been taken in the US, Australia and New Zealand where age discrimination legislation has been used to abolish mandatory retirement.   It seems that … Continue reading

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Reduction in UK’s productivity gap

When the UK’s productivity is measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker, latest figures show that we are now above Japan, similar to Canada and Germany, although still lower than Italy, France and the US. This is according to new 2008 estimates just published by the Office of National Statistics.   When measured by GDP per hour, which takes … Continue reading

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