Labour defend minimum wage target from “plainly absurd” criticism

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Labour has responded to criticism by Alan Milburn today that their pledge to raise the National Minimum Wage is not ambitious enough. Milburn said that none of the plans set out by any party to deal with tackling child poverty were “anywhere near good enough”.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Trade and Infrastructure Ian Murray has hit back at the suggestion, saying:

“Labour’s plans would see an £8 minimum wage before 2020 – rising more than twice as fast as under the Tory-led government. Our policy will set an ambitious target for the minimum wage to reach a higher percentage of median earnings than it has ever reached before. Our proposed target of 58 per cent of median earnings was voted against by the Tory-led Government this week.”

Murray also said that the higher minimum wage rate would help millions of people across the country and that “to suggest otherwise is plainly absurd”. It is understood that Labour’s pledge is a minimum target, and that it could move higher than £8 if the economy looks stronger a few years down the line.

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