Labour would introduce ‘real’ living wage of over £10 an hour, pledges John McDonnell

Written by Tom Freeman and Josh May on 26 September 2016 in News

Labour conference: GMB union welcomes pledge on fair pay but calls fracking ban “an abdication of responsibility”

John McDonnell -  credit Danny Lawson/PA

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said “decent pay” would be a central part of a “new deal” for the British economy under a Labour government.

In his speech to Labour conference in Liverpool, McDonnell said this would include a commitment to a real Living Wage, to contrast with the Conservative National Living Wage introduced by George Osborne.

The Shadow Chancellor said it was a "historic step forward" and built on the last Labour government's introduction of the national minimum wage.


RELATED CONTENT

UK Party conferences 2016 - a comedy of errors

Ian Murray on the battle for Labour's soul

Jeremy Corbyn attempts to delay giving Scotland and Wales more seats on Labour NEC


"Under the next Labour government, everyone will earn enough to live on,” he said.

“When we win the next election we will write a real Living Wage into law. We'll charge a new Living Wage Review Body with the task of setting it at the level needed for a decent life.

“Independent forecasts suggest that this will be over £10 per hour. This will be a fundamental part of our new bargain in the workplace."

He said a higher minimum wage formed part of a global movement to reform the economy.

"Backed up by our commitment to investment, we will end the scourge of poverty pay. Decent pay is not just fundamentally right, it’s good for business, it’s good for employees, and it’s good for Britain.

"We need a new deal across our whole economy. Because whatever we do in Britain, the old rules of the global economy are being rewritten for us."

The GMB union, which has opposed the leadership under Jeremy Corbyn on Trident and fracking, welcomed McDonnell’s announcement.

David Hamblin, Chair, GMB Young Members said:

“Workers’ difficulties keeping up with the cost of living has become a crisis across the country and it’s up to the UK government to ensure that the lowest paid aren’t left behind by the rising costs of rent, bills and essentials that threaten to overwhelm them.”

However, responding to a pledge by Shadow Energy Secretary Barry Gardiner to ban fracking, Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said:

“Britain needs gas. The first fracked gas from America arrives tomorrow at Grangemouth. Carting gas across oceans is not good from the environment and not good for security of supply in the UK.

“Given we will need gas to heat our homes and power industry, the question is therefore where are we going to get our gas from. We are increasingly going to be dependent on regimes fronted by henchmen, hangmen and head-choppers for the gas we need. That isn't ethical and is surely an abdication of our environmental and moral responsibilities."

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Brexit and Scotland's rural economy
21 June 2018

Concern over challenges faced by rural communities have been long-running, but with Brexit on the horizon, new ones have emerged

Promote the aquaculture industry to school leavers and graduates, urges HIE
23 May 2018

Highlands and Islands Enterprise highlights a gender imbalance in both the industry and education system, as well as an ageing workforce

MPs launch inquiry into long-term viability of the North Sea oil and gas industry
26 April 2018

North Sea oil and gas industry contributes approximately £17bn to the UK’s balance of trade and supporting over 300,000 jobs

Scottish budget passed
22 February 2018

Scotland's income tax system will converge from the UK for the first time after Holyrood passes budget

Related Sponsored Articles

Share this page