In this quick round-up, HR magazine compiles the promises that could impact most on HR:
- Leader Ed Miliband proposed increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour. The CBI responded with concern, saying that the minimum wage is currently “at the highest rate it can be”, any higher, it warned, and job creation may be put at risk.
- Miliband also claimed a Labour government would focus on higher wages, creating more jobs and increasing the amount of apprenticeships available. He also announced a further 36,000 NHS jobs.
- Prime minister David Cameron announced plans to fund 3 million apprenticeships, funded by stricter conditions on youth benefits, should the Conservatives win a clear majority.
- Chancellor George Osborne revealed an abolishment of the ‘death tax’ on pensions savings, due to come into effect April 2015. This means people inheriting pensions from their parents will no longer need to pay 40% tax.
- Osborne also unveiled proposals for a benefits freeze for people of working age. Benefits affected include Working Tax Credits and Jobseeker's Allowance. Pensions, disability and maternity benefits have been ring-fenced and will not be affected by the freeze.
- A majority in the next election would see the Conservatives increase the level at which employees pay the top rate of tax (40p in the pound), from £41,000 to £50,000. He also promised that the tax-free personal allowance for all workers would increase from £10,000 to £12,500 under a post-election Conservative government.
- Business secretary Vince Cable unveiled plans to increase the national minimum wage for apprentices from £2.73 to £3.79 an hour, to come into effect October 2015.