Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, demanded the introduction of Living Wages for low paid workers across the country at a special event hosted by the Public and Commercial Services Union at the Green Party’s autumn conference in Sheffield Hallam University..
Campaigners from PCS and FairPensions – who run JustPay!, the national campaign for Living Wage standards at FTSE 100 companies -met in Sheffield to urge all employers to pay the Living Wage rate; the minimum hourly wage necessary for housing, food and other basic needs for an individual and their family. The Living Wage currently stands at £8.30 per hour in London and £7.20 per hour for regions outside of the capital .
FairPensions estimates that there are currently some 3.5 million people in the UK over the age of 22 earning less than £7 an hour, with the proportion of people on low pay steadily increasing.
“Low paid workers in Britain are blighted by an ever-growing wage inequality which endangers health and has a detrimental impact on family life. British people work some of the longest hours in Europe, yet many simply cannot afford to work less. Everyone deserves a fair wage for their time without having to resort to working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“The application of Living Wage standards has already lifted 8,000 people out of working poverty in London yet there are still millions of workers waiting to be rescued from a life on low pay. Even in time of economic difficulty, we need to tackle poverty.”
Sheffield Councillor Jillian Creasy commented
“Thanks to a Green Party motion last year, Sheffield City Council is committed to paying a “living wage” to all its employees. But we would like to see businesses in Sheffield taking up the idea. In the long term, workers will be happier, healthier and more committed and the city would prosper as a result of being know for good working practices.”
1. The Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University has calculated the Living Wage rate outside of London at £7.20 per hour.
Topics: City Wide, Economy, Jillian Creasy, Poverty