general election

Labour manifesto: Miliband pledges £8 minimum wage

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Labour manifesto: Miliband pledges £8 minimum wage

Related tags: Leader ed miliband, Minimum wage

Labour leader Ed Miliband has announced that the national minimum wage will increase from £6.50 to more than £8 by October 2019 if the party wins the general election.

Speaking at the launch of the party’s manifesto “Britain Can Be Better” in Manchester today, Miliband also pledged to ban “exploitative” zero-hours contracts, which offer workers few or no guaranteed hours, provide tax rebates to firms that pay the living wage and introduce a “gold-standard” system of vocational training and apprenticeships to improve skills.

He added that local authorities would be given a role in strengthening enforcement against those that pay their employees less than the legal amount.

“We will create more paths to success for our young people by introducing a gold-standard system of technical education and training, and the guarantee of an apprenticeship for every school leaver with the grades,” he said.

“We will re-focus existing spending away from low-level apprenticeships for older people and towards a system where apprenticeships are focused on new job entrants, lasting at least two years, and providing level three qualifications of above.”

Miliband also promised to cut and then freeze businesses rates for over 1.5m small businesses by cancelling the Coalition’s planned cut in corporation tax. He added that a new Small Business Administration would be established to ensure procurement contracts are accessible and regulations are “designed with small firms in mind”. Labour would also launch a British Investment Bank with the mission to help businesses grow and create jobs, improve access to finance and support a network of regional banks.

He stressed there would be no increase in VAT, national insurance, or basic or higher rates of income tax and energy bills will be frozen until 2017.
Miliband’s pledges were announced alongside a “budget responsibility lock” – a guarantee that every policy has been fully costed and will not require any additional borrowing.

Related topics: Legislation

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5 comments

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Pie diagram required

Posted by david,

50% of a typical pub's income is spent on goods and maybe another 12% of a rented pub's income is spent on rent.

Would you therefore agree that increases in a 62% slice of income are a greater threat to a pub's viability than an increase in staff wages which might typically be a 15% slice of income?

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Reality

Posted by Robert Feal-Martinez,

David is that aside from rent, staff costs are the biggest overhead for most pubs, unless perhaps if you are a basic boozer.

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How convenient

Posted by david,

Why does a proposed increase in minimum wage raise the question of pub viability, the potential for both pub and job losses, and the attitude "if a pub can't afford it, it can't afford it"?

Presumably, unsubstantiated increases in product cost prices, plus energy cost increases, Sky subscriptions, PPL & PRS, business rates, employers' NI contributions, and a whole load of other increases in overheads can somehow be absorbed or passed on to the customer. But, somehow paying a half-decent wage to staff becomes an insurmountable problem!

Let's NOT leave morality aside, and instead ask whether pub staff are more deserving of a half-decent wage, or whether publicans' priority is to serve the interests of the shareholders and executives of multi-million pound plcs.

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