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Minimum wage hikes: a question of balance

The Chair of the Low Pay Commission says the least well-off have seen their lot improve, but some businesses struggle to manage wage increases  

By Bryan Sanderson  

Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images

The minimum wage and its successor the National Living Wage—introduced in 2016—have been a significant intervention in the labour market. So far they have successfully satisfied the Low Pay Commission’s remit of raising pay without causing unemployment. Indeed, employment is at or near historic high levels. This has been delivered under the guidance of commissioners representing business, the unions and independent academics, who offer advice to the government on rates.

Before the NLW was introduced about a million people were paid the minimum wage. Under…

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