David Dingle, CEO of Carnival UK, in charge of P&O cruise lines, said "Yes, the minimum wage is more than we pay, but this is a global industry, Our businesses have to remain competitive... We have a manning office in Mumbai. There are queues out on to the street."
TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "Holidaymakers will be horrified to learn that some of the seafarers on their cruise ships are paid so little. It's high time the disgraceful practice of allowing the shipping industry to pay poverty wages to workers who don't live in the UK was stopped. Exploitative rates of pay for those working on British ships have no place in a modern society."
This week, about 70,000 seriously ill, disabled people will lose some or all of their £99-a-week allowance. From Monday, the government will limit receipt of employment and support allowance (ESA), the contributory allowance to just 365 days. By 2015 almost 300,000 people will lose out.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy calls this a "betrayal" and argues for a rethink. "About 300,000 people will be losing almost £100 a week even when they continue to be assessed as being too ill too work.