The minimum wage will rise by more than £2 per hour over five years, Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced, claiming the Conservatives were now “the workers’ party”.
Mr Javid also revealed that the threshold for young workers to begin earning the full statutory National Living Wage would drop from age 25 to 21.
The announcement moves the Tories firmly onto Labour territory, with opposition policy currently to bring wages up to £10 per hour by 2020 for over 18s.
The minimum wage for over 25s is currently £8.21 per hour. For workers aged 21 to 24, it is £7.70, and from 18 to 20, £6.15.
“Over the next five years, we will make the UK the first major economy in the world to end low pay altogether,” Mr Javid said in his speech to the Tory conference in Manchester.
“To do that, I am setting a new target for the National Living Wage: Raising it to match two-thirds of median earnings.
“That means, on current forecasts, this ambitious plan will bring the National Living Wage up to £10.50, giving four million people a well-earned pay rise.
“And to help the next generation of go-getters to get ahead we will reward the hard work of all millennials too, by bringing down the age threshold for the National Living Wage to cover all workers over the age of 21.”
Mr Javid added: “The hard work of the British people really is paying off. It’s clear it’s the Conservatives who are the real party of labour. We are the workers party.”