Rishi Sunak to deliver Labour Party severe blow if national wage increase added to budget
Rishi Sunak says the government ‘can’t wave a magic wand’
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GB News presenter, and former Labour MP, Gloria De Piero has argued that a move to increase the national minimum wage by Rishi Sunak would deliver a severe blow to the Labour Party. Boris Johnson is believed to be on the verge of agreeing to a rise in the minimum wage to £9.70 an hour. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer faces a bitter internal split with his party of a minimum wage of £10 or the £15 backed by leftwingers.
De Piero told GB News: “Looking ahead the budget there is speculation that the minimum wage will rise to nearly £10 an hour.
“We will see when Rishi Sunk delivers that budget.
“Of course the Labour Party went into the last election promising a £10 an hour minimum wage.
“So that would indeed course a dividing line and some difficulties for Labour if Rishi Sunak does deliver that.”
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It comes as reports suggest the Conservative leader is only weeks away from signing-off on a minimum wage rise as he looks to lead from the front in establishing higher pay in society.
The Times said the lowest earners on the so-called national living wage – the minimum wage paid to those over the age of 23 – could receive about £9.42 an hour, an increase of more than 5 percent.
The Low Pay Commission, which advises governments on minimum wage levels, is expected to publish its final report on the April 2022 levels later this month and the £9.42 rate had been its central projection.
Mr Johnson was pressed on ITV News about a possible hike in the hourly floor rate but left the matter open-ended, saying on Tuesday: “We will take guidance from the Low Pay Commission, and we will see where we get to.”
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In his address to the Conservative conference, Mr Johnson called for more measures to bring in foreign workers to plug gaps in the haulage and agriculture industries, the Prime Minister again called on businesses to do more to lift wages and attract more workers.
Tony Danker, director-general of the CBI business lobby group, said: “The Prime Minister has set out a compelling vision for our economy. High wages, high skills, high investment, and high growth.
“But the PM has only stated his ambition on wages. This needs to be backed up by action on skills, on investment and on productivity.
“Ambition on wages without action on investment and productivity is ultimately just a pathway for higher prices.
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“It’s a fragile moment for our economy. So, let’s work in partnership to overcome the short-term challenges and fulfill our long-term potential. It’s time to get around the table, roll up our sleeves, and get things done. It’s time to be united.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “If Boris Johnson was serious about levelling up Britain, he wouldn’t be slashing universal credit in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.
“The PM is in no position to lecture people on wages when he is holding down the pay of millions of key workers in the public sector.
“And when he is doing nothing to fix the gaping hole in local authority budgets that has resulted in most social care workers being paid less than the real living wage.
“As the country’s biggest employer, the Government should be setting an example on paying staff properly – not skimping on wages.”
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