Ed Miliband: Labour will increase minimum wage by linking it to earnings

18 May 2014

The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has pledged to substantially raise the national minimum wage by linking it to average hourly earnings, in an effort to deal with the “scandal” that Britain is one of the worst places in the developed world for low paid workers.

Over the course of the next Parliament, Mr Miliband, has vowed to follow Barack Obama’s footsteps by ensuring that increasing the minimum wage is a “basic principle” for his party in government.

At present, the minimum wage is set by an independent Low Pay Commission, made up of representatives of industry, unions and academics, but Labour believes that it has been too cautious. In contrast, critics from the business community have already raised concerns about the policy; arguing that politicians should not intervene on wages, and that decisions should be left to the independent commission.

Although the Labour leader will not commit to an exact figure of new minimum wage target until closer to the general election, it is thought that it would exceed the planned increase by the Liberal Democrat and Conservatives of 19p an hour to £6.50 in October.