Both Tories and Labour pledge wage rises for low-paid workers

Sajid Javid

The Government has revealed it plans to raise the living wage, which currently sits at £8.21 per hour, to £10.50 within the next five years.

Speaking at this week’s Conservative Party Conference in Manchester (30 September), Chancellor Sajid Javid (pictured) also vowed to lower the age threshold for those who qualify from 25 to 21.

The announcements follow the recent Labour party conference, where Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell unveiled plans to raise the minimum wage to £10 per hour by 2020 for all workers over the age of 18. He also touted the introduction of a four-day (32 hour) working week within a decade, although Labour has deemed the idea of a French-style blanket cap unworkable.

NFRN National President Stuart Reddish condemned the Government’s plans as a “step too far” and called for concessions for small retailers.

“Besides having to pay our staff more in wages, every rate rise means we have to pay more in national insurance and pension costs,” he said.

“Neither the Conservative nor Labour parties are considering the considerable financial burden and the implications on both staff hours and jobs that such moves will place on independent retailers.”