Last summer George Osborne stood up in Parliament and said - echoing an argument we've made so many times before - that Britain needs a pay rise. We will hold him to that, because it can't be acceptable to create a system where so many of the young are locked into poverty, where low-paid workers are told they're earning a 'living wage' when they're still unable to make ends meet, and where contractors paid for out of our taxes use government spin to justify low pay for our people.
You've probably heard a lot of rhetoric from the Tories about this supposedly "high-wage economy" they're creating. If you have, it might surprise you to hear that there are almost a quarter of a million working people in the UK getting paid less than the legal minimum to which they are entitled. Sports Direct may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Women work as hard as men in the workplace and deserve the same recognition for it. They should not be sent a message that their labour is undervalued or worth less than their male counterparts - because it is not - and our pay gap pledge is that we will not give up the fight until this is reflected in pay packets across the country.
Living Wage Week is a time to take stock of the low pay challenge that confronts a growing number of working people in the UK - and think about what more can be done to tackle it. Despite the many living wage victories, the outlook is bleak.... Against this backdrop, we should see George Osborne's 'national living wage' for what it is - an enhanced minimum wage. And while it would be churlish to deny that it will do some good (it was after all a policy that was swiped straight out of Labour's 2015 manifesto), we need to recognise three big flaws in the government's way of going about things that reveal the weakness of its approach to tackling lowpay.
This last year there has been much to celebrate, such as the government's partial conversion to the cause and the breakthrough for the Living Wage in parts of the retail sector. The fight is far from over, our objective has not been reached. Many employers, earning big profits, continue to refuse to share fair rewards with their employees, and the smoke and mirrors of the government's phoney Living Wage, only makes it easier for them to hide.
PMQs today made it pretty clear: Corbyn is starting to employ that headmaster stare. Today, it went from a rather stern warning look to a full-on, narrow-eyed, flashing-gazed glare at the Tory front bench who promptly erupted from muffled laughter to full-on cheers, accompanied by the classic chanting of "Ooooh", which reminded me all too strongly of schooldays seated in front of a well-intentioned but sadly incompetent supply teacher.