Published On: Tue, Sep 23rd, 2014 on 6:26 pm

Miliband’s £8 an hour increase for 2020 an ‘insult,’ say young campaigners

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband’s recent announcement to increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour by 2020 has been branded as an ‘insult’ to the millions of low paid workers in Britain by young campaigners.

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

The minimum wage for adult workers was £5.80 at the time of the last election, and is due to rise from £6.31 an hour to £6.50 on 1 October.

But Mr Miliband plans to add £1.50 an hour on to that by 2020.

His increase would add around £60 a week, or £3,000 a year, to the pay packets of workers currently on the minimum wage.

And he said the rise would save the taxpayer “hundreds of millions of pounds” in welfare payments.

The planned increase has been branded as an ‘insult’ however by a group named Youth Fight For Jobs (YFJ), which has previously demonstrated against issues of unemployment, education cuts and the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

Iain Dalton, Yorkshire organiser of YFJ, said: “Ed Miliband’s pledge of increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour by 2020 is an insult to the millions of low paid workers in Britain.

“When a growing coalition of organisations including Youth Fight for Jobs, the Trades Union Congress, the GMB & BFAWU trade unions, the Socialist Party, National Shop Stewards Network and others are calling for the implementation of a £10 an hour minimum wage now, it shows how out of touch Miliband and Labour are becoming with workers interests.

“Moreover, this pledge doesn’t deal with the travesty that young workers are on even lower minimum wage rates for doing the same work.”

One in five UK workers are currently categorised as being on low pay, defined as wages of less than £7.71 an hour.

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

The promised rate is said to be similar to that in force in Australia and EU countries such as Belgium and Germany, but still lower than in France and New Zealand.

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