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3 November 2021

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Fight for a £15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

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Ferdy Lyons, East London Socialist Party

The government has announced that from April 2022, the 'National Living Wage' will increase from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour. As a low-paid worker, this is welcome news but not enough.

With reports of energy prices set for a dramatic increase and rents and living costs already soaring, workers need a pay rise now, not in six months. The measly increase of 59p will do little to alleviate the impending crisis.

Lower rates for younger workers are still in place, and are falling further behind. 21-22 year olds will get £9.18 an hour, and apprentices just £4.81 an hour. When the minimum wage was introduced, the rate for 18 year-olds was 83% of the full adult rate, now that gap has increased to 73%. 16-17 year olds earn just 51% of the adult rate.

Neither the government nor the opposition are willing to call for youth rates to be scrapped, and so young workers are pushed further into a never-ending cycle of poverty.

We need a pay rise now, an end to youth rates, and a minimum wage of £15 an hour. We need young workers to get organised in the trade unions for fight for it. This is what Youth Fight for Jobs campaigns for.

Socialist Party member, Maurice Cooper was interviewed on BBC Radio Humberside representing Youth Fight for Jobs, in response to the increase in the national living wage. He said:

"As of May 2021, we had just under 2.3 million workers receiving Universal Credit, and that's not just minimum wage workers, that's workers in general. If you are in work, and you have to be on Universal Credit, which is already being cut, then you are clearly not being paid enough!.. The increase is only for 23-year-olds and above. I'm 17, my minimum wage is £4.62 an hour... This is being changed to £4.81 which is still absolutely absurd. In the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign we believe that young workers should not be discriminated against in pay."

"We are being paid less because big corporations want cheap labour... They know that we are contributing enough, but they are willing to pay us less in order to maximise their profits."

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In The Socialist 3 November 2021:


Socialist change to end climate change

Fight for socialism to end climate destruction

COP26 begins - workers strike for pay

COP26 News in brief

Campaigns news

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fund the fight for a socialist world

Sheffield students tirelessly campaigning for socialist change

Hackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

East London gentrification plans exposed


Fight for a real wage rise for all

Local government cuts set to continue - we need councillors prepared to fight

Race to top for bankers

Fight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

Water companies put profits before protecting our environment

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

Tory plans won't fix social care

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise

Workplace news

NEU: Strategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Scunthorpe scaffs strike into fifth week

Unite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Plant engineers pay dispute

Fighting sexism

Sexism, safety and the profit system

International news

Sudan - mass protests and general strike against coup

Chile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Hunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

Protests against Sudan coup reach Britain


Home   |   The Socialist 3 November 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

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Related links:

Minimum wage:

triangleSheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise


triangleYouth Fight for Jobs - why we're marching on 9 October

triangleJoin the fight for our future


triangleObituary - Pauline Wall

triangleKickstart scheme 'insufficient and flawed'

triangleYouth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

triangleYouth climate protests


triangleSolidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan

triangleKazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

triangleWeetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer


triangleLow pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

triangleEast Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

Article dated 3 November 2021

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Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

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