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Rishi Sunak set to BLOCK minimum wage rise as UK cannot afford increase due to coronavirus

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The minimum wage rate was expected to rise in April from £8.72 to £9.21 but was delayed due to the virus. As a result of the crippling impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Sunak will apply a brake on the rise in the autumn budget, later this year. The Low Pay Commission has stated any planned rise to the wage may now be completely unaffordable as a result of the coronavirus.

This proposed break could have devastating implications for the lowest-paid workers and comes amid plans from the Treasury to increase taxes to attempt to raise money.

Chairman of the group, who advised the Treasury, Bryan Sanderson, claimed any brake on the minimum wage will be based on thorough analysis.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “The Low Pay Commission always advises Government based on a thorough review of the evidence and detailed discussions with workers and businesses alike.

“This is more important than ever, given the profound impact of Covid-19.

“We’ve listened carefully in recent months to the views of employers and trade unions, and we’ll continue to look at the latest economic data over the autumn, before agreeing recommendations on next year’s minimum wage rates in late October.

“There are not many winners in today’s uncertain world.

“Our contribution to help steer a path through the complexity will be to provide a recommendation founded on rigorous research and competent analysis which has the support of academics and both sides of industry.”

Mr Sunak is expected to hike up taxes on wealthier earners to help soften the blow of the coronavirus pandemic.

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However, rumours of a tax rises on the rich were met with widespread criticism by Tory backbenchers.

Chair of the group, Sir Graham Brady, insisted it would be unwise to make cuts at this time.

He told the Today programme: “I think the necessity is to make sure that we don’t make this crisis any worse than it has to be, and fundamental to that is making sure that the country gets back to work so people resume as far as possible normal life.

“I think we have to be aware that raising taxes, and raising the wrong types of taxes especially, can be a way in which you stifle economic growth and prospects, rather than guaranteeing them.



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