The BBC has the article on its web site – see link above
With the exception of Norwich, Southend and Worthing all the other communities with low wages are in the industrial north. Turning to the highest paid towns in England they are all in the South East with the exception of Derby.
No government has taken radical enough steps to seriously address this imbalance and please don’t point to the Northern Powerhouse or Poorhouse, as I like to call it, because that is little more than a political sticking plaster to make it look like Government is addressing the issue.
A solution? Try to make Universal Basic Income work. It’s been tried in Canada and in some of the Scandinavian countries but it needs to be really tested as a radical solution here in the UK.
A few highlights from last Tuesday’s Parish Council meeting
* Parish Council to spend £500 buying boundary planter troughs to go on Lydiate boundary signs for the Lydiate in Flower volunteer group. They will look similar to this Maghull one:-
* A £803 grant bid by Lydiate PC to the Lydiate-only John Gore Trust has been successful. It will help run community events at Lydiate Village Centre.
* Lydiate PC will continue to pay the Living Wage to its staff as opposed to the lower Minimum Wage. Music to the ears of this old trade unionist who helped bring in the LW to the Parish Council some years ago.
* A bid is being made to the Tesco Bags of Help grant fund to raise funds to set up a community garden, working with Lydiate in Flower volunteer group, on the Lambshear lane field where Lydiate Village Centre sits.
* Harking back to my previous postings about the potential for a multi-use sports area on Sandy Lane Park an initial expression of interest type bid is being made to a Football Foundation/Lottery for what would be a massive project to rebuild the present football changing rooms and progress the multi-use sports area idea.
This is the run-down condition of the Sandy Lane Park tennis courts surface. Could they be rebuilt as a multi-use games area – MUGA?
Far too early to raise expectations about what will clearly be a hugely expensive, but most welcome project, if the Parish Council can once again be a successful grant bidder – It raised £0.5m from the National Lottery when the Village Centre was being constructed and which opened its doors in 2010.
Of course Cameron’s National Living Wage (presently £7.20 per hour) was a bit of a con but at least it was said to be aimed at improving the lot of the most exploited employees.
The real Living Wage at £8.25 per hour (promoted by The Living Wage Foundation) is obviously where the Government’s new National Living Wage should have been set.
But experience is starting to show that employers are getting around the National Living Wage by cutting hours, expecting greater productivity with less resources etc. etc. And this despite the fact that new legislation says there should be no detriment to those earning the NLW.
Sadly we seem to have at least one local example in Sefton Borough and I am sure there will be others that have not come to my attention.
The case I am aware of involves cleaners at a local Civil Service office who, according to their trade union (PCS), are suffering cuts to their working hours as well as being on low pay. Not only that they don’t get sick pay.
The cleaners and their union are firm in their belief that a breach of contract has taken place and an Employment Tribunal could well be the end result.
It’s not big and its not cleaver to exploit the low paid.
What’s more the consequences of low pay are that taxpayers have to top up the poor wages with tax credits thereby in effect subsidising employers who are not paying their staff enough.
In a recent column for the Independent i, Archbishop of York John Sentamu addressed the importance of providing workers with the Living Wage. He says it is a social issue that will help move toward a fairer society. He notes that the Living Wage Commission he chaired found that five million people who earned at least the minimum wage may still require supplementary benefit or have to use food banks.
John Sentamu is right, that’s why I was more than happy to vote on Lydiate Parish Council to adopt payment of the Living Wage.
The GMB union has named and shamed ten councils in a bid to raise town hall pay. The union wants all councils to pay the Living Wage and four on the 2014 list – Harrow, West Lancashire, Waltham Forest and North East Derbyshire – have now signed up for it. The ten “worst” councils with proportion of jobs paying less than the living wage in 2014 are: West Somerset 42.9%; Harrow 41.1%; Torridge 38.6%; West Lancashire 38.3%; Waltham Forest 38.2%; Breckland 38.0%; West Devon 37.3%; North Norfolk 36.5%; North East Derbyshire 36.3%; and Woking 35.9%.
The Daily Mirror covered this story
Pleased to say that Lib Dem run Lydiate Parish Council has agreed to pay its staff the Living Wage without the need to be named and shamed.