Chuka Umunna: Labour will cut tax for firms who lift wages

Tim Wallace
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Umunna wants a higher national minimum wage
Firms who pay their low-paid staff a higher wage should get tax breaks, Labour’s Chuka Umunna said yesterday, ahead of a debate in the House of Commons over the minimum wage.

The shadow business secretary will call for an £8 per hour minimum wage, a new mandate for the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to push the lower limit higher, and tax breaks for firms who spend more on the lowest paid.

Currently the LPC makes recommendations which balance increases in the minimum wage with the risk that a higher limit could push some workers out of a job. Labour wants to shift that balance in favour of higher pay, arguing some sectors can pay more.

Umunna also wants to offer firms a £1,000 tax break each time they raise a worker’s pay to the living wage level.

The Conservatives declined to comment.

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