LONDON — A Labour government would raise the national minimum wage to at least £10 an hour, Jeremy Corbyn will say on Monday.
The Labour leader will use a visit to Luton today to set out the party’s long-term plans for increasing the national minimum wage, which he will claim in practice would mean increased pay for over six million Brits.
The government’s own living wage plan — put into place by former Chancellor George Osborne — is expected to increase the national minimum wage rise to £9 for workers aged 25 and over by 2020.
However, Corbyn will today accuse the Tory government’s plan of failing to address the issues of wage inequality and rising cost of living.
The Labour leader will say: “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. This is the right thing to do, and a Labour government will be committed to rebalancing our economy so that no one and no community is left behind.”
“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.
“This is the right thing to do, and a Labour government will be committed to rebalancing our economy so that no one and no community is left behind.”
The proposed changes to the national minimum wage would result in pay hikes for around 5.6 million workers, with full-time workers on basic earnings becoming more than £2,500 better off a year.
Corbyn will also announce his plan to abolish the lower level minimum wage for younger workers, which he claims would lead to 21 to 24-year-olds enjoying a £4,500 annual wage increase.
The announcement comes just a matter of weeks before polls open for nationwide local elections on May 4. Labour could lose up to 125 council seats and faces a “cataclysmic” in Scotland, according to pollster Lord Hayward.
The party also faces a battle to regain control of the West Midlands mayoral region, with its 9.4% lead over Conservatives looking under threat as the party continues to trail the Tories by huge margins in national opinion polls.
Last week Corbyn announced that a Labour government would provide free schools meals to all primary school pupils by slapping a 20% VAT charge on private school fees. A subsequent YouGov poll revealed that 52% of Brits support the idea, with 27% opposing it.
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