Labour to offer firms tax breaks

Businesses that sign up to paying the living wage will be given a 12 month tax break worth up to £1,000 for each worker under plans unveiled by Ed Miliband. The living wage is £8.55 in London and £7.45 in the rest of the UK.

RMT: Labour's living wage announcement is a cop out

RMT general secretary Bob Crow has described today's living wage announcement by Labour as a "cop out"

Under the plans businesses that sign up to paying the living wage will be given a 12 month tax break for each worker.

RMT transport union leader Bob Crow

Mr Crow added: "Poverty pay should not be an option and the only solution is to raise the statutory minimum wage to the current living wage rate, making it legally enforceable and slamming the door on cheapskate employers looking for an opt out.

"Offering employers a tax break to try and drag them into paying a decent rate just smacks of corporate welfare and will stick in the throats of millions of people who have had their benefits cuts and frozen."

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Miliband: We will provide employers with 'an incentive'

If employers agree to move to paying the living wage to their workforce, we will provide them with an incentive, offering them in the first year the money that government would receive in higher tax revenues.

The result: working people get higher wages, employers get support to help to make the transition to a living wage, government cuts the cost of social security for the long term.

And we make a clear statement about the future of our country and our economy: Under a Labour government: work will pay. And that together, we can tackle the cost of living crisis.

– Labour leader Ed Miliband

Miliband to offer firms 'living wage' tax breaks

Businesses that sign up to paying the living wage will be given a 12 month tax break for each worker under plans unveiled by Ed Miliband.

For each low paid member of staff whose earnings are boosted, firms would receive a tax rebate worth around £445 on average although it could potentially reach £1,000.

Ed Miliband pledged to tackle low wages if Labour wins the next general election Credit: Press Association

The Labour leader has pledged to introduce make work pay contracts to raise wages for millions of low-paid workers if he takes the keys to No 10 at the general election.

The so-called living wage is £8.55 in London and £7.45 in the rest of the UK although that will be uprated tomorrow.