Corbyn makes pledge to double wages for under 18s | Eurasia Diary -

18 July, Thursday

Corbyn makes pledge to double wages for under 18s

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Wage rates for 16 and 17 year olds will more than double under plans by Labour to extend the living wage to more workers.

Labour will abolish the ‘youth rate’ of the minimum wage and ensure that workers who are under the age of 18 are paid a Real Living Wage at the same rate as their colleagues.

Workers under the age of 18 are currently only entitled to a minimum wage of £4.35 per hour, just over half the National Minimum Wage of £8.21 which is only paid to those aged 25 and over. 

Labour’s pledge to extend the Real Living Wage of £10 per hour will make the average young worker better off by £48.45 per week, or £2,519 per year.

Average real pay for 16 and 17 year olds is still below its 2006 level, and young workers are more likely to be in insecure work and on zero hours contracts than their older colleagues. 

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the proposals were “dramatic” and that they could risk reducing the number of 16 and 17-year-olds in work.

A spokesman for the Institute of Directors, said: “Politicians directly setting rates will always risk not taking full account of the implications for employers and jobs.”

Matthew Percival, head of employment at the CBI, said: “The minimum wage is an important part of the UK labour market and must not be used as a political football. It owes its success to the Low Pay Commission, which is an expert, independent body that brings together business and trade unions to guide the national minimum wage.

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