Miliband pledges to raise UK minimum wage to £8 an hour

23 September 2014

The minimum wage would rise to £8 an hour over the course of the next parliament if Labour wins the general election, the party has pledged with leader Ed Miliband saying it was “not good enough” that one in five people in the UK were on low pay.

The Conservatives have reacted, saying that they have already delivered an above-inflation increase as, from October, the minimum wage will rise from £6.31 to £6.50.

Government sources have suggested that the rate would probably rise to £8 by the end of the next Parliament if it continued on current trends. The TUC has called for the minimum wage to increase to £10 an hour.

The proposed increase would affect around 1.4 million jobs, and would be introduced in annual stages by the Low Pay Commission before October 2019.

Mr Miliband’s proposed rate is said to be similar to that in force in Australia and EU countries such as Belgium and Germany, but lower than in France and New Zealand.

The Labour leader rejected claims it would cost jobs and be unaffordable for the public sector, such as local councils and hospitals, who are among the biggest employers of low-paid staff.

Follow the links for further discussion from the BBC, Financial Times, and The Telegraph
Click here for a comment from the Guardian on the impact of a raised minimum wage.