The Labour party manifesto includes a promise that the remit of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) will include a goal of “the national minimum wage rising at least in line with average earnings” in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.The manifesto goes on to promise that the LPC will be accorded additional responsibilities “to report on productivity and career progression in low-skilled, low-paid sectors, bringing together representatives from the business community and social partners.”
Last month, the Government announced that the national minimum wage adult rate will rise from its current level of £5.80 per hour to £5.93 per hour with effect from 1 October 2010, an increase of 2.2%.
The Conservative party manifesto includes only a brief mention of the national minimum wage.
We need to make work pay, so we will keep the minimum wage and work to reduce the very high marginal tax rates faced by many people on low incomes who want to return to work or increase their earnings.
Liberal Democrats’ manifesto
The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto includes a promise to extend the coverage of national minimum wage adult rate to workers aged 16 and over. Its list of promises on “helping families stay strong” includes the following:
Set the minimum wage at the same level for all workers over 16 (except for those on apprenticeships).
The national minimum wage adult rate is currently paid to workers aged 22 and over. However, the Government announced last month that it will be extended to 21 year-old workers from October 2010.