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.
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.