The Office for National Statistics have provided me with figures which show how much work needs to be done if we are to tackle the growing problem of in-work poverty.
The figures show that almost 22% of jobs in Bolton North East pay less than the Living Wage. That means more than one fifth of the jobs available in my constituency don’t pay people enough to live on. I’ve met many people who are working all the hours they can and still don’t earn enough to pay their bills.
This Tory Government likes to talk about making work pay, but use this mantra as an excuse to cut financial support, this is simply not good enough. People who work deserve a decent days pay and Labour’s plans to tackle the cost of living and raise levels of pay are the way to tackle in-work poverty.
Labour would offer incentives to employers to pay the living wage, benefitting both businesses and workers, and it would actually save the Government money by reducing the need for in-work benefits like tax credits.
The ONS figures make it clear that a large number of people in Bolton North East would benefit from these policies.
In April 2013, the latest period for which are available, the Living Wage rate suggested by the Living Wage Foundation was £7.45 per hour for employees who did not work in London. At this time the ONS figures show that the proportion of jobs in Bolton North East with hourly earnings below £7.45 was 21.9%.