Corbyn bids to rouse workers across UK with £10 minimum wage pledge
JEREMY CORBYN has officially launched a pledge to raise the legal minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2020, in a move welcomed by unions and policy makers in Scotland.
The Labour leader has pledged a “real living wage” today (Monday 10 April) for every employee over the age of 18 if elected, in an attempt to outflank the Scottish Government’s living wage implemented last year and the UK’s national living wage announced two years ago.
UK Labour also promised to abolish the lower level wage for younger workers saying that the move would result in a pay rise for 5.6m workers across the UK. However, the Scottish party has stayed quiet on the specific proposals of Jeremy Corbyn as it focuses on the Child poverty bill going through Holyrood.
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.” Jeremy Corbyn
Ben Wray, head of policy, said: “The decline in wages in Britain over the past decade is historic: there has not been a fall in wages this sustained since the Napoleonic Wars. So anything that boosts wage, including Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal for a £10 minimum wage by 2020, is to be welcomed. But with inflation rising, it may be the case that by the time we get to 2020 this will not be nearly high enough, so Labour should keep an open mind about revising that policy upwards.
“We also need to think about wage inequality: it’s positive that Corbyn has suggested a cap on incomes, but even better would be wage ratios that tie the income of the lowest earning people in a company to those of the CEO’s, say at a rate of 1 to 10.”
Full-time employees currently earning the national living wage would be better off by more than £2,500 in 2020, according to Labour, while 21 to 24-year-olds currently earning the minimum wage would be better off by more than £4,500 in 2020.
“The decline in wages in Britain over the past decade is historic: there has not been a fall in wages this sustained since the Napoleonic Wars.” Ben Wray
George Osborne, the former UK chancellor, revealed in his 2015 budget speech that the national living wage would be brought up to £9 an hour by 2020. This would only apply to the over-25s, with a lower national minimum wage for younger workers.
According to Labour, their plan would most benefit people outside of London and the southeast, with Northern Ireland having the highest proportion of employees affected, followed by the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. However, the party had no answer when asked by CommonSpace about implications for Scottish workers.
Corbyn in a speech to the living wage employer Luton Town FC today said: “Low pay blights the lives of huge and growing numbers in our country and fuels widening inequality. The government’s rebranding 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.
“We also need to think about wage inequality:” Ben Wray
“Labour’s real living wage will immediately boost the incomes and opportunities of more than 20 per cent of the workforce, especially in sectors such as retail, care and hospitality.”
The Scottish Government’s rate is different from the UK Govt national living wage of £7.20 at £8.45 an hour. Last year, Nicola Sturgeon revealed the new rate on a visit to the Bell Group in Aidrie, a UK-wide painting and decorating contractor which declared itself an accredited living wage employer.
Minimum wage legislation remains reserved to Westminster, after devolving full wage and employment powers to Scotland was blocked during the Smith Commission.
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