The minimum wage will rise by 9% to £5.30 if Labour wins the General Election, Tony Blair is expected to announce tomorrow.
An initial rise, from £4.85 to £5.05, would come in this year, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.
And there would be another 25p an hour increase by 2007 for the UK’s 1.7 million low-paid staff aged over 21, the newspaper said.
Blair will set out details in his monthly press conference. Gordon Brown and trade secretary Patricia Hewitt – both champions of the minimum wage – and Low Pay Commission chief Adair Turner will take part in the announcement.
Turner, former head of bosses’ group the CBI, is expected to confirm the rises will not damage the economy.
A senior government source told the Daily Mirror: “This is absolutely crucial to our commitments to help reduce poverty in society. All these rises, and the minimum wage itself, will be put at risk by the Tories, who have shown they don’t care about helping the most vulnerable.”