Labour has announced that it will extend its Real Living Wage of £10 per hour to under 18 year olds.
The party 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.
The pledge,say the party,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.
Labour will use fiscal savings arising from a reduction in the amount that the Treasury pays out in in-work benefits to provide targeted support for SMEs to enable them to pay the Real Living Wage to all staff, guided by the Living Wage Review Body.
Announcing the policy, Jeremy Corbyn criticised the Conservatives’ record, accusing the government of “discriminating against young people” by trebling tuition fees, scrapping the Education Maintenance Allowance and failing to tackle the housing crisis.