"Business leaders have called for a minimum wage freeze as part of measures to help private industry drive the economy out of recession."
Business Leader: Someone who is not attempting to live on minimum wage.
Minimum Wage: In the UK, for people over 22 years of age, £5.73 per hour. In real terms* a minimum-wage full-time worker has about £20 more per week in their pocket than someone on state benefits, which are defined as the minimum amount the government says a person needs to live on.
The cost of living is rising and basic essentials like accommodation, food, water and fuel are becoming more and more expensive. The problem is... let's say that in the next year the cost of these necessities rises by £500 overall. A Business Leader might have to cut back on luxuries - perhaps one less meal out per month, or one less holiday per year, to cover that. They'll still have a pretty good quality of life. A Minimum Wage Worker, on the other hand, doesn't have that many luxuries to cut. They're already on the poverty line.
I don't know what the way out of the recession is, but I feel certain that it shouldn't be the people who are working their backsides off for a tiny wage who get kicked in the shorts in the name of saving the economy.
* For a full-time worker, minimum wage is £212 per week. This is about £60 a week more than a single person's state benefits of approximately £150pw (comprised of Housing Benefit (~£70pw), Council Tax Benefit (~£20pw) and Jobseeker's Allowance (£60.50pw)) but must also cover things like prescriptions and dental work (free for people on income-related benefit) as well as additional work-related expenses such as suitable work clothing, transport to and from work, and of course tax.