Ed Miliband yesterday announced Labour's plan to raise the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour by the end of the next Parliament.
He told the Labour Party conference in Manchester that his Plan for Britain's Future will rebuild the link between working hard and sharing in our national wealth.
The planned increase would take the National Minimum Wage from £6.50 an hour in October this year to £8 by 2020 – a rise of £1.50 an hour for Britain's lowest paid workers worth £60 a week or £3,000 a year.
The wage rise, which will be implemented by the Low Pay Commission over the course of the next Parliament in consultation with business, would be based on a plan to boost the National Minimum Wage from 54% to 58% of median earnings by 2020.
Ed Miliband said:
"Too many people are treading water, working harder and harder just to stay afloat. Too many working people have made big sacrifices but in this recovery they are not seeing the rewards for their hard work because, under the Tories' failing plan, the recovery is benefiting a privileged few far more than most families.
"One in five of the men and women employed in Britain today do the hours, make their contribution, but find themselves on low pay. But if you work hard, you should be able to bring up your family with dignity.
"From Perth to Portsmouth to Penzance working people are demanding to know if any political party can make a difference. I have heard that despair in Scotland and across the United Kingdom.
"But this week Labour's Plan for Britain's Future will show how we can change and how we can become a country that rewards hard work once again. That's why we have set out plans to raise the minimum wage by £1.50 an hour by 2020 to £8 an hour – because Labour is the party of hard work, fairly paid."