Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged that the party will increase the minimum wage if it wins the General Election.

He told the national conference of the GMB union that Labour would not just increase the statutory rate, it will narrow the gap between the minimum wage and average earnings.

"A country can only succeed if those who work hard and do the right thing get a fair day's pay. That's why I guarantee today: the next Labour government will increase the minimum wage."

Loading article content

He told delegates at the Nottingham conference that a Labour government would also act on loopholes in rules on agency workers which he said were used to undermine the pay of permanent employees.

The Labour leader added that quality jobs were being hit by zero-hours contracts "spreading like wildfire", He said: "The next Labour government will have a simple rule: if you do regular hours, you deserve a regular contract, not a zero-hours contract."