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New year calls made for minimum wage hike

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The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is calling for a hike in the minimum wage after its research revealed more than a million children in Britain are living in poverty.

Head of social policy at IPPR Kate Stanley admitted that work had already been done to help poor families, but more focus is needed; and just this week HR Zone reported on IPPR’s claim that the government’s tax credit policy is penalising working families while rewarding unemployed single parents.

“Tax credits and the minimum wage have made work pay relative to being on benefits but these don’t yet go far enough to ensure more children are lifted out of poverty,” she said.

The left-wing think tank also recommended that all employees should have the right to request flexible working hours.

Chief executive Yngve Traberg of ClickAJob, an online job search engine, said the recommendations should go further.

“Satisfying only minimum levels perpetuates the problem. On the breadline, people are uninspired, concerned more with survival. They have little self respect and no positive vision of the future.

“Skills are the light at the end of the tunnel, the competitive edge to getting a job. A job has prospects – and a reasonable chance of lifting families out of poverty. By all means, lift the minimum wage. But make part of it conditional on acquiring a skill, and establishing the basis for a better future,” he said.

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Annie Hayes

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