The small 20p rise in the minimum wage announced by the Government today to take effect in October falls far short of the £7 minimum wage which George Osborne promised over a year ago. Under David Cameron we’ve seen the value of the minimum wage eroded, and working people’s living standards fall. Working people are on average £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories.

Labour has set a more ambitious target for the minimum wage, which would see it rise to £8 before 2020, bringing it closer to average earnings. And we will act to make sure the National Minimum Wage is properly enforced, unlike the Tory-led Government which has failed to get to grips with non-payment. Currently 15 per cent of apprentices are not being paid the legal minimum, rising to almost a quarter for 16-18 year olds. 

Labour will take action to help make work pay, with an economic plan that works for all working people, not just a few at the top. We will tackle low pay, raise wages and address insecurity in the workplace.

George Osborne said last year that he wanted to see the minimum wage go up to £7 by October 2014 – but he has failed to deliver it. So far, since 2010, it’s gone up by just 70p. 

Labour will:

  • Increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour before 2020.
  • Encourage more employers to pay a living wage by establishing “Make Work Pay” contracts, giving a tax rebate to companties that sign up to become living wage employers in the first year of the next Parliament.
  • Ban exploitative zero-hours contracts to ensure that workers who work regular hours get a regular contract.
  • Make the exploitation of migrant labour to undercut wages illegal.
  • Introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to provide a paid starter job for every young person unemployed for over a year, which they will have to take or lose benefits.
  • Guarantee an apprenticeship to every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and require every firm getting a major government contract to take on apprentices.
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