End poverty pay

Today marks the start of National Living Wage Week.

As Dave Prentis and David Miliband wrote in the Guardian on Saturday, the living wage is in everyone’s interests, and it was fantastic to hear Ed Miliband yesterday calling for all businesses to pay it to their staff.

Paying the living wage has been shown to increase productivity in the workplace.  It also saves the Treasury money in tax credits.  More importantly, it ensures that people earn enough money to live on.

With Tory cuts hitting vulnerable people hard, it was recently found that one in seven children goes without a hot meal as money runs out before pay day.  No one should be in this position.  People deserve a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work, and hot meals should not be a luxury for anyone.

I’m proud of the Labour councils around the country that have signed up to pay the living wage and I hope that more will follow.

We need to be encouraging businesses to pay the living wage, too.  UNISON has been running a great campaign to get the living wage implemented in work places.  (You can find out about how to get involved here: http://www.unison.org.uk/livingWage/index.asp.)

Labour Students have been campaigning on campuses across the country and have seen some real successes; Kent University, Manchester University and De Montfort University have now committed to paying their staff the living wage.  My university students’ union recently gained accreditation for paying the living wage, after our Labour club approached them about it.  This is an ongoing campaign and one that will hopefully provide even more success stories.  Information and resources to help you run your own campaign on campus are available here: http://www.labourstudents.org.uk/livingwage.

We may not be in government but we can make things fairer on a local level.  We must keep pushing for this change and put an end to poverty pay.

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About Bex Bailey

Proud feminist. 50% success rate for Labour NEC elections. Campaigner. Labour Women's Network committee member. Co-operative Party member.
This entry was posted in equality, living wage, TUC. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to End poverty pay

  1. cllr Keith Martin says:

    We put a motion to Full Council to encourage them to think about the benefits of paying a living wage and the example it sets. It was voted down by all the Conservative councillors though when we requesed a named vote, some abstained but were true blue in the end. A living wage has cross party support. The reasons given to reject the motion was they thought folk got paid enough. The thought of helping folk to get off benefits did not work for them and would rather the tax payer to subsidise their policy. It would have been great to see South Ribble Borough Council being mentioned this week as a social and moral supporter of true fair pay.

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