The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said the minimum wage should be increased to £15 per hour – up from its current rate of £9.50 for those aged 23 and over – to aid low-income workers amidst the cost of living crisis.

The move comes amidst fresh forecasts of inflation rising to 18.6% - its highest in 50 years – causing a sharp decline in both the real value of wages and living standards.

The TUC claims median pay levels would have been higher by £3 an hour if growth in wages had continued at rates prior to the Conservative Party coming to power in 2010.

In a report setting out its plan, the TUC called on the government to work with the Low Pay Commission to reach the level “as soon as possible over time”, The Guardian has reported.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, was quoted as saying: “Millions of low-paid workers live wage packet to wage packet, struggling to get by – and they are now being pushed to the brink by eye-watering bills and soaring prices.

“For too long workers have been told that businesses can’t afford to pay them more. But again and again the evidence has shown that firms are still making profits and increasing jobs – we can afford higher wages.”

The Labour Party has yet to specify the rise in minimum wage under its proposals.