The minimum wage in the UK should vary by location, according to a new report from a commission studying how best to boost Britain’s economy.
According to the RSA City Growth Commission, economic conditions in different areas should be considered when calculating a reasonable minimum wage.
The commission wants to see minimum wages decided at a ‘metro’ level, covering an area similar in size to one covered by a local enterprise partnership.
This would help address mismatches in the labour market and the recommendations put forward suggest a Metro Minimum Wage could be introduced, linked closely to local geography.
Regional limits for the minimum wage
Under the plans, the metro wage would be somewhere between the current minimum wage of £6.31 per hour and the ‘living wage’ of £7.65 per hour, although that increases to £8.80 in London.
The proposals are found in the commission’s ‘Human Capitals: Driving UK metro growth through workforce investment’ report.
“How can someone in Whitehall have the knowledge as to what is required for one region of the country compared to those locally responsible?” questioned commission chairman Jim O’Neill.
“We believe they don’t, and while we reserve our major recommendations until our final report in October, this specific report gives a strong flavour of the ideas we have developed from listening to experts in research, as well as local businesses and policymakers around the nation.”
Improving financial management
Controlling pay at this type of level would be beneficial to many people in the UK and would help those trying to manage their finances.
If wages were to differ by location then certain areas could increase in popularity, although the commission believes these types of effects would be limited.
Even additional pay of 10p per hour would add £175 to a yearly salary and these funds would likely be poured back into the economy.
This should aid the British economy in the long-term and should increase the levels of disposable income that are available for people in certain locations.
With the effects of the recession still being felt in many parts of the country, managing finances remains incredibly important for a lot of families.
Using a prepaid card to do this can be beneficial as only funding on a card can be spent – meaning debts cannot be built up as there is no credit facility.
The cards are also linked directly to a bank account, meaning the risk of fraud is reduced and the funds on the card are safer.
It is also possible to top the cards up when required or to replace them when lost or stolen without the funds being affected.
Online and text services also exist with some cards, so users can monitor their usage and spot any fraudulent activity.