The UK minimum wage is set to rise and widen the gap between it and the Isle of Man even further.
British Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last week that there would be an increase to Â£ 9.50 in the minimum wage.
The Isle of Man currently has a minimum wage of Â£ 8.25.
This means that those earning minimum wage in the UK are better off than those in the Isle of Man.
Douglas adviser Devon Watson, who is a member of the Manx Labor Party, said low wages “impose a high cost on all of us”.
He said: âOne in six workers earns less than a living wage. This ensures that many people working full time remain trapped in poverty.
âWorkers who don’t earn anything can’t spend money they don’t have, a low-wage economic strategy is starving the consumer economy.
âWorkers living paycheck to paycheque pay less tax, further weakening our social safety net.
âAn employer whose employees depend on the benefit system to make ends meet essentially depends on taxpayers to cover the full cost of the labor they receive.
âWorkers with precarious and low-value contracts cannot plan for the future, buy houses or start families.
“The thousands of people who earn less than a living wage, many of whom are essential workers, are denied the opportunity and dignity they deserve.”
Another Manx and Douglas South MHK Labor Party member Sarah Maltby will push for the minimum wage to be aligned with the living wage of Â£ 10.87 over the next five years.
This follows Tynwald’s approval of 15 recommendations by the Special Committee on Poverty in July.
As it stands, the living wage for the Isle of Man in 2021 is Â£ 10.87 per hour. The minimum living wage is Â£ 2.62 more than the island’s current minimum wage for those over 18.
The rate reflects a weekly salary, before tax, of Â£ 413.21 and an annual salary of Â£ 21,487.
Ms Maltby explained why she thinks it is so important.
She said: âWe are truly delighted that Tynwald accepted the Poverty Committee’s recommendations in July that the Manx minimum wage should rise to a living wage over the next five years.
âIt must be a priority and we look forward to working with the government to see if it can be done faster.
“This is important to me for at least two reasons – firstly, it ultimately increases income and I also think it is widely accepted that people living in poverty are morally unacceptable.”
In Jersey, the minimum wage is currently Â£ 8.32 an hour as of April 2020, but the Minister for Social Security is currently pushing for it to drop to Â£ 9.22 an hour.
Due to the pandemic, the employment forum was unable to complete its usual consultation exercise to determine an increase for this year.
In Guernsey the current minimum wage is Â£ 8.70 per hour as of this year, which is 45p more than the Isle of Man rate.