Rochester businessman backs minimum wage rise

A Rochester businessman has welcomed the national rise of the minimum wage due in April next year.

The minimum wage for over 25s will increase to £7.83 next April.

Director of SMG Building Solutions Ltd Mark Graham is among the minority of business owners praising the rise of the minimum wage.

Graham, 47, from Rochester runs a building business and employs 6 workers as well as 10 to 15 contractors, work load dependent.

“I have worked with and employed a lot of young people and do agree with a marginal increase in the minimum wage as a response to the rapid rise in the cost of living / renting etc.

It will not affect us in the same way as the compulsory pension scheme didn’t affect us as an established and organized small business you have to get on with these things instead of moaning about them and accommodate them in your pricing structure.”



This increase will be the largest rise in over a decade.

It was announced at last week’s Autumn budget that the minimum wage for over 25s will increase to £7.83 next April.

The minimum wage currently stands at £7.50 an hour for over 25s.


Chairman of The Low Pay Commission Bryan Sanderson said,

“The Low Pay Commission is pleased that the Government has accepted our recommendations to increase the national minimum wage rates for young people.

Many thousands will benefit directly and thousands more will benefit from the increases to the national living wage.”


Many young people will be effected by this news as the minimum wage for 18 to 20-year-olds will rise 5.4 percent to £5.90.

Student recruitment agency Unitemps employ thousands of students across the country every year, including throughout Kent.

A representative from Unitemps added,

“For internal job vacancies Unitemps staff are paid the living wage.

This is in line with university policy, so yes I believe our students are paid fairly for the work they do.


Current trades apprentice Alex Dewey, 19, Rochester, also thinks this is a very good idea.

“I work on minimum wage now and still really struggle.

I don’t think I earn enough for what I do, especially when I’m doing the same as other people around me.

I can’t afford most things and will probably need to find more work over Christmas.”


The living wage in the UK, which is not enforced by law has also increased.


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