Letter: Minimum wage

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The Independent Online
Sir: John Monks, leader of the TUC, was right to stress that young people aged under 25 would become alienated if they were either offered a lower minimum wage or excluded from the system (report, 2 October). There is also no significant support for such an approach.

In a survey we have just published, only 3 per cent of the 296 employers who responded thought that the adult minimum rate should start from an age above 21. Half our sample opted for 18 or younger. There was also a consensus that those below 18 should be paid a lower minimum rate, rather than excluded from the system.

Our survey was heavily skewed towards small private-sector firms, in industries such as manufacturing and retail, operating in a relatively low-wage part of the country. These are the very people, along with low- paid workers, who will be affected by the minimum wage.

JONATHAN FRY

Director, Yorkshire & Humberside Low Pay Unit

Batley

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