LABOUR yesterday pledged to end the ‘unprecedented’ squeeze on wages with a Labour government introducing a ‘Real Living Wage’ of £10 per hour for all workers over 18 by 2020.
The party said: ‘A Labour government would give almost a quarter of workers (23%) a pay rise, with more than 40% of workers in parts of the country benefitting, new analysis reveals.
‘Real wages in Britain are still lower now than they were before the crisis, ten years ago. Workers have faced a lost decade. The government has not done enough to boost pay, especially for those on the lowest incomes. For example, the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibilities) are now forecasting that the National Living Wage will be £8.75 per hour in 2020, not £9 per hour as had initially been promised.
‘At the same time, the OBR has forecast that the National Minimum Wage for 21-24 year olds will reach just £7.75 per hour for 21-24 year olds by 2020. And under the Conservatives, the NLW is set to be even lower, after they watered down their commitment to it in their election manifesto. Labour will take a different approach, one which puts working people first.
‘As part of Labour’s commitments to improving the lives of working people across the country, it will raise the Minimum Wage to the level of the Living Wage (expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020) – for all workers aged 18 or over, so that work pays.
‘New regional analysis reveals that 41% of workers in West Somerset and Weymouth and Portland would get a pay rise under Labour’s proposals. And in Birmingham, over 100,000 people would get a pay rise.
‘Full-time employees currently earning the government’s National Living Wage will be better off by over £2,500 in 2020 under Labour’s plans. Labour will abolish the lower youth rate, making everyone over 18 entitled to the Real Living Wage. This means that 21-24 year olds currently earning the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will be better off by over £4,500 in 2020.’
Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: ‘The stagnation of real wages currently being experienced is unprecedented since at least the Second World War. We must take bold and imaginative measures to tackle low pay. One crucial step in this direction is to raise the Minimum Wage to the level of the Living Wage, expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020 – for all workers aged 18 or over.
‘People should be rewarded for a full day’s work and need the dignity that comes with decent wages. Britain needs a pay rise and only a Labour government can deliver one.’