Leaks suggests minimum wage rises and online sales tax progress

Ahead of this week’s budget, news is circulating of a rise in the minimum wage from the current £8.91 to £9.50 per hour for those aged over 23.

The rise will prompt businesses currently paying the minimum to account for an additional £1,074 before tax for each employee aged over 23. The rise comes at a time when inflation is rising at a rate that could come to be as high as 5%, according to the Bank of England’s chief economist. The increase, at 6.6%, therefore should represent a marginal pay increase to workers a the lower-end of the wage scale.

It is likewise reported that the minimum rate for workers younger than 23 will also rise from £8.36 to £9.18 for those aged 21 and 22, while apprenticeship rates will add 51pence per hour to reach £4.81. The Minimum wage for 18 to 20 year-olds will rise slightly from £6.56 to £6.83 per hour.

In the bike industry the subject of wages has been in sharp focus, in particular of the bicycle mechanic whose skillset has generally advanced significantly as electric bikes have grown in prevalence. Training school leaders Sean Lally and Graeme Freestone King discussed the issue on CI.N’s podcast last year.

As shown in the snippet of CyclingIndustry.News’ annual market report, some 23% of senior mechanics earn just £16,000 to £18,000 annually. We are currently seeking input for the 2022 report and bike shops and workshops may pitch in here (with the full report delivered to your inbox in January).

Alongside that news, reports of a re-emergence in the mooted Online Sales Tax are back in the press, something that should in theory help Bricks and Mortar stores compete against generally low-overhead mass retailers.

A concrete decision is expected to come in Spring, rather than during the budget, with officials still assessing what goods and services would see the tax applied. A consultation on the matter is expected.

CyclingIndustry.News’ incoming print magazine will have an assessment of the bike industry’s wage growth, with a particular focus on Living Wage employers’ insights into the pros and cons of paying more than is legally required.

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