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A SCAREMONGERING new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies argues that higher wages will accelerate automation and cost jobs.
The Establishment-friendly body claimed today that putting up the minimum wage — currently set at a poverty-level £7.50 an hour for workers aged over 25 — could threaten jobs because automation would be cheaper than paying workers.
The TUC, rail union RMT and general union Unite all rubbished the claims.
“This is just propaganda for bad employers who want an excuse to suppress wages,” Unite executive officer Sharon Graham said.
“The best way to defend your job and get the best for workers is also the best way to keep your pay above the minimum wage — get organised in a union.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash called it “another blatant attempt by the boss class to roll back the gains made by the trade unions” on the minimum wage and a genuine living wage.
And TUC head of economics Kate Bell said: “Minimum wage rises in the UK have gone hand in hand with rising employment, and the TUC believes the minimum wage should reach £10 an hour as quickly as possible.
“This should be done alongside more investment in training and infrastructure to help businesses raise their productivity and adopt technology in ways that support employment.”
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