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What is the rise in minimum wage? King's Lynn and West Norfolk reacts



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People in West Norfolk have spoken about the national rise in minimum wage to from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour, with many dubbing it "pointless".

The rise means a full-time worker will get £1,074 extra a year before tax.

The pay rise is at a steep 6.6 per cent, so more than double the 3.1 per cent cost of living increase.

Hustings at Methodist Church in Kings Lynn....Labour Jo Rust. (44364708)
Hustings at Methodist Church in Kings Lynn....Labour Jo Rust. (44364708)

However, many say there are "hidden costs" and the extra £1K "won't go far."

Inflation rates are soaring. According to the ONS:"The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs rose by 3 per cent in the 12 months to August 2021, up from 2.1 per cent to July.

This is the largest ever recorded change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate."

Janet Slater, 34, works in a supermarket in Downham.

She said: "Rent has gone up, council tax has gone up, train fares, childcare. The wages weren't enough to live off to begin with- I don't mean to sound ungrateful but this really doesn't help and it won't go far, there are so many hidden costs and a big bill coming out one month can floor someone on my wage.

"It's just something to keep us quiet after the pandemic."

Lynn Councillor Jo Rust echoes these sentiments.

She said: "Any increase in the hourly rate is always welcome.

"Sadly I don’t think it’ll do anything to improve the living standards of people earning it.

"It will merely enable them to continue in the same struggle against rising prices and the increasing cost of living.

"The council only announced last week that it was increasing the lowest hourly rate they paid to the rate of £9.50 an hour, this small step has now been overtaken by the increase in NMW leaving these staff no better off and potentially making recruitment to the council as challenging as ever."

Damian Carruthers said: "Some people's energy prices have gone up from £100 to £200 per month.

"We are about to see millions plunged to poverty- the cost of merely living is now unaffordable for so many."

Amanda Whiley said: "Let Boris live on minimum wage it's a joke."

The First Sandringham Park Run held on Saturday 18th Septrmber 2021..North West Norfolk MP James Wild crosses the line..Picture Paul Marsh. (51368531)
The First Sandringham Park Run held on Saturday 18th Septrmber 2021..North West Norfolk MP James Wild crosses the line..Picture Paul Marsh. (51368531)

Annabel Martin said: "Won't be enough for some people they will still moan."

North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: "This welcome increase in the National Living Wage will mean an extra £1,000 a year for someone working full time.

"This is an important part of the government’s commitment to make work pay and help people and families with the cost of living.”

Many fear for the future and the rising cost of basic goods.

The UK average farm-gate milk price for August 2021 is 31.24 pence per litre .

This represents a 2.5 per cent increase on July 2021 and an 11 per cent increase on the same month last year.

Meat and fish - up 22.9 per cent - registered the biggest price increases for any one category in the survey, with fresh fruit and vegetables up 14.7 per cent.

Retail analysts also found price rises of nearly 50 per cent for some individual food items.

As supply chains have been affected throughout the country, through the HGV driver crisis and factories losing a swathe of their workforce- like Alfred G Pearce in Setch - prices are predicted to rise even further.

In England, private rental prices grew by 1.2 per cent in the 12 months to August of this year.

The Lynn News did a report earlier this month on the food banks in Lynn and Downham.

Both food banks have seen an increase in usage with a high percentage of those needing their services on minimum wage and in some cases professional salaries.



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