The lead contender to succeed Ed Miliband as the head of the official opposition and the current shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, mentioned in his remarks that he thinks employees of all ages should be rewarded the same. He spoke against the current wage rate, including £5.13 per hour for those aged 18-20 and £1.37 more for the older colleagues. It was pointed out that the gap is being increased up to £1.40 in October as the Conservative government raises the floor values to £5.30 and £6.70.
Mr Burnham stressed that “I can’t support a separate minimum wage for young people. An hour’s work deserves an hour’s pay whatever age you are, it seems to me.” These remarks were made in presence of his three rivals, namely shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, shadow health minister Liz Kendall and left-wing backbencher Jeremy Corbyn at hustings event for union members hosted by the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation (Tulo).
Since Burnham staunchly defended Mr Miliband’s policies despite the party’s recent defeat in May’s general election, he is being branded as “continuity Miliband” by Labour MP John Woodcock, who is a leading backer of Ms Kendall. In a speech, Ms Kendall warned that “if we continue to stick with the politics that we had at the last election or, indeed, over the last seven or eight years, we will get the same result.”
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