Raising wages a ‘basic principle’

Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband

Britain is one of the worst developed countries in the world for low paid workers and Labour will substantially raise the national minimum wage to help deal with it, Ed Miliband has claimed.

The Labour leader (right) said he would make boosting workers’ wages a “basic principle” for his party in government.

Admitting higher welfare spending is not the best way to help the poor, Mr Miliband stressed he would consult with businesses before pushing ahead with plans to establish a link between the minimum wage and the earnings of other workers.

Mr Miliband said: “It’s true that the jobs that were 50p or £1 an hour that I remember from the 1980s aren’t there any more but we have much, much further to go.

“It’s a basic principle for the next Labour government that people who are going out to work and putting in the hours should be able to get a decent return.”

But he has already come under fire from the CBI.

Katja Hall, of the CBI, said politicians should not set wages.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The minimum wage grew from a union campaign to a landmark achievement of the last Labour government. Now after years of real wage cuts, we need to see far greater ambition.”