Labour pledges £10 minimum wage within months of election win

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: John Devlin
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: John Devlin
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Nearly six million workers will receive a pay rise within months if Labour wins the next general election, Jeremy Corbyn will say.

The Labour leader is hoping to win over voters ahead of May’s local polls by setting out the details of the party’s longer terms plans for a £10 an hour minimum wage.

Employees on basic earnings would be better off by thousands in 2020 compared to the current expected rate under the Government’s national living wage.

Mr Corbyn, on a visit to Luton, will say: “Low pay blights the lives of huge and growing numbers in our country and fuels widening inequality.

“The government’s re-branding of the minimum wage to the national living wage hasn’t dealt with the real problems of low pay and rising cost of living.

“That’s why Labour will raise the legal minimum wage for all to at least £10 an hour by 2020, giving more than five and a half million people a pay rise in the process.

“Labour’s real living wage will immediately boost the incomes and opportunities of more than 20% of the workforce, especially in sectors such as retail, care and hospitality.

“We know that where work pays, living standards rise and reliance on benefits falls.

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“This is the right thing to do and a Labour government will be committed to re-balancing our economy so that no one and no community is left behind.”

The flagship Labour policy, announced last year, would leave full-time employees on basic earnings better off by more than £2,500 while 21 to 24-year-olds on lower wage rates would be in line for a £4,500 hike.

Around 5.6 million workers would see their pay go up and Northern Ireland, the East Midlands and Yorkshire would be among the areas to benefit most with one in four residents affected, according the party.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “Theresa May promised to be a champion of working people; she has failed.

“The Tories are taking the country backwards; Labour will stand up for working families making them £2,500 a year better off in 2020.

“Only Labour will take the action needed to end the Tories’ economic failure and introduce a real living wage of £10 an hour by 2020.”

The National Living Wage rate for over 25s is expected to rise from £7.50 this year to £8.75 by 2020, according to Labour.

It said the £7.05 for 21 to 24 year-olds is set to increase to £7.75.