Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed today’s joint announcement by Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves outlining their reforms for the minimum wage; which include tasking the Low Pay Commission to take account of the cost of living, along with paying the full rate to all over 18s.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Usdaw has long campaigned for an end to rip-off youth minimum wage rates, so we are delighted that this will be delivered by the next Labour Government. There is no justification for two people doing the same job to be paid differently just because of their age, something we have ended by negotiation with employers in our major agreements, and it has always been wrong that law allows pay discrimination by age.

“We also very much welcome adding the cost of living to the Low Pay Commission’s remit. The current remit of looking at average earnings is too narrow, particularly in terms of the so-called ‘National Living Wage’. A genuine living wage must surely reflect the cost of living. With average wages stagnating over the last ten years, this has impacted growth in minimum wage rates leaving the lowest paid struggling to make ends meet.

“Labour is clearly demonstrating that they have the answers to the cost of living emergency that is so deeply impacting low and middle income workers. They are set to tackle the scourge of low pay as set out today and Keir Starmer’s plan for an energy price cap freeze will help protect against future price shocks. Our members desperately need an end to this zombie government and Labour back in power.”

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