3 November 2014
*Minimum wage should be lifted to Living Wage levels for all immediately
*Minimum wage should be £10 per hour for all by 2020
*Current inadequate wage levels mean too many workers are on 'grotesquely low wages'
Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett has today repeated Green Party calls for the Living Wage to become mandatory in response to the release this morning of the new Living Wage Foundation figures (1).
"The latest update from the Living Wage Foundation could not have come at a more significant time. Workers are currently experiencing the most sustained and painful squeeze on their wages since the 1860s. The target set by the Foundation has once again highlighted the growing divide between the wages employees are taking home every month and the amount they need to live, pay the bills and provide for their families.
"That's why it is so disappointing that the Coalition and Labour opposition have refused to make the commitments necessary to improve worker pay and bring it in line with inflation. Their plans offer nothing except a continuation of our current inadequate wage levels.
"The Green Party would not allow this situation to persist. We are calling for the minimum wage to be made a Living Wage today, and for a target to be set of a £10/hour minimum wage, outside of London, by 2020 (2). We are serious about taking the steps necessary to reduce inequality, tackle low pay, and create an economy that supports everyone."
Research undertaken by the London Green Party (3) has revealed that nine in ten big businesses (employing 250+ people) in London are not signed up to the London Living Wage scheme, eight years after the policy was launched by the previous Mayor of London.
Baroness Jenny Jones said:
“It’s horrible to think that nine in ten big businesses are holding out and paying poverty wages, while many pay their top executives multi-million pound bonuses. The Living Wage campaigners have been brilliant at getting some employers to voluntarily sign up. But we can’t leave more than half a million Londoners on grotesquely low wages, so we need the London Living wage to become mandatory.”
3 The nine in ten figure is calculated using statistics for numbers of businesses from the Business Population Estimates produced by BIS, and a breakdown of employers by size given by the Mayor in answer to a question by Jenny Jones AM. Just 110 big employers, 8% of the 1,395, were accredited as of 22nd October 2014 according to the Mayor: