Wages in Britain today simply do not match the cost of living. The gap between the richest and the poorest continues to increase and in-work poverty is becoming a major problem all across the country.
The Conservative’s simply have no interest in helping those affected. They like to use Labour’s language when talking about these issues, but their actions are adding fuel to the fire.
Earlier this year I reached out for feedback on the Tories “National Living Wage”. The gains people received in their wages were wiped out by changes to tax credits and other cuts, leaving many people worse off.
£7.20 an hour is not a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living in Britain today. Those under 25 are entitled to less, even when doing the exact same job as an older worker at the same company. It is simply unfair.
I am delighted to see that Owen Smith has today set out meaningful proposals to take on these challenges and provide much needed help for low-paid workers.
The introduction of a real Living Wage of £8.25 for all adults, increasing over time to match the recommendations of the Living Wage Foundation, would be a huge step forward.
Under Owen’s proposals workers over the age of 25 will get a pay rise worth £2,000 a year. Workers aged 21-24 currently on the minimum wage will also see their wages rise by nearly £3,000 a year. Those aged between 18 and 20 will see an annual pay rise of over £5,000 a year.
His proposals go even further to ensure that future Government cuts, or manipulations by employers, won’t wipe out the value of a higher paycheque.
- Owen has pledged to strengthen the Low Pay Commission to take on employers who try to avoid the minimum wage,
- create a Living Wage Delivery Unit to ensure that every workplace delivers the changes we need
- and fight the Tory plans to cut Universal Credit for those in work while reforming Pension Tax Relief to prioritise those with low incomes.
This is a bold but realistic plan to help working people in Britain and one that I am proud to endorse.