Monday, 13 April 2015

A living wage for all would bring much needed fairness into the workplace

London Citizens, a charity that campaigns on social issues including fair pay has said that supermarket workers on the minimum wage are forced to claim £11 billion in benefits to make ends meet.

They have called for employers to pay retail staff a living wage, the current minimum wage stands at £ 6.50 per hour, a living wage would, as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation be £ 7.85 generally rising to £ 9.15 in London.

The Green Party recognises that the financial crisis of 2008 and its long aftermath has created a new social group, the ‘precariat’, members of which are trapped in insecure and poorly paid jobs.

A spokesperson for North Staffs Green Party said that ‘making a living wage a reality for all would bring much needed fairness into the workplace.’

This has created serious social divisions and requires concerted action to create a fairer situation for working people.

The Green Party would increase the minimum wage to a level that makes it into a living wage with a target of achieving £10 per hour by 2020, in 2015 this would be £ 8.10 per hour generally and £ 9.40 in London.

This would save £ 2.5 billion in tax credits and generate an extra £ 1.5 billion in extra tax and National Insurance payments.

The Green Party is also committed to ending exploitative zero hour contracts, make equal pay for male and female workers a reality and improve democracy in the workplace by strengthening the role of trades unions.

Stoke North Green Party PPC Sean Adam said: ‘I shall not be afraid to challenge the existing system. Why do we allow local unemployment to be disguised behind zero hours contracts, with a work force apparently in employment, but actually receiving minimum hours, not enough to provide a realistic living.’

Adding: ‘Why are we allowing highly profitable companies to pay the minimum wage and enforce their work force to claim working tax credits and housing benefit? The Green Party’s proposed living wage is an option all employers can afford to pay where staff are in full time employment. This is number one of my target campaign in and out of Parliament.’

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