Belfast Telegraph

Miliband in push for £8 minimum wages rise

By Andrew Woodcock

Forcing employers to pay a minimum wage of at least £8 an hour will save the taxpayer "hundreds of millions of pounds" in welfare payments, Labour leader Ed Miliband has claimed.

Mr Miliband kicked off his party's annual conference in Manchester with the eye-catching pledge, which would see the wage increase from the £6.50 it reaches next month to £8 or more by 2020, adding around £3,000 a year to those working 40 hours a week.

But business leaders warned that the minimum wage had already reached "the highest rate it can be without putting job creation at risk".

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Mr Miliband said: "Too many working people have made big sacrifices but in this recovery they're 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."

Belfast Telegraph