5 September 2014
*Minimum wage should be raised to Living Wage levels immediately
*Urgent action is needed to address persistent inequality and poverty
The Green Party has called for the statutory minimum wage to be immediately lifted to Living Wage levels and for a £10 per hour minimum wage for all by 2020.
The Green Party, the only party committed to delivering real change for the common good, believes every worker over 16 should be paid at least the minimum wage and would abolish the age-based differential rates currently in place.
Raising the minimum wage to living wage levels would benefit an estimated 5.2million people (1) – 17% of the working population – and usher in a fairer society where fewer workers are trapped in poverty pay conditions.
The policy announcement was made by Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett on the eve of the Greens’ Party Conference at Conference Aston in Birmingham (September 5th-8th).
The new policy pledges will appear in the Green Party’s 2015 General Election Manifesto alongside other measures designed to address persistent inequality and poverty. The Green Party is calling for a Wealth Tax on the top 1% (2) and company-wide pay ratios.
Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett said:
“Under our plan no-one would be paid less than £10 an hour in 2020. It is a scandal that under the Coalition government the number of workers earning less than the Living Wage has risen by a staggering 50% from 3.4million in 2011 to 5.2million today (3). It makes a mockery of Prime Minister David Cameron’s 2010 statement that a Living Wage is ‘an idea whose time has come.’”
“The fact that the Green Party are consistently polling at some of our best numbers (4) since 1989 goes to show that our message of the need to reshape our politics and economy to work for the common good is really hitting home.
“It is our policies such as making the minimum wage a Living Wage, a Wealth Tax on the top 1%, renationalising our railways and having a publicly owned and run NHS that are both encouraging people to join as members (5) and vote Green in growing numbers.”
1 Living Wage Commission (2014), Work that pays, page 5: http://livingwagecommission.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Work-that-pays_The-Final-Report-of-The-Living-Wage-Commission_w-4.pdf
3 For 2011 figure: Resolution Foundation (2013), Low pay Britain 2013, page 3:http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/media/media/downloads/Low_Pay_Britain_2013.pdf; for 2014 figure: Living Wage Commission (2014), Work that pays, page 5: http://livingwagecommission.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Work-that-pays_The-Final-Report-of-The-Living-Wage-Commission_w-4.pdf