Low pay in Wirral

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01 Nov 2017
Margaret Greenwood MP calls on government to support families struggling with cost of living as figures estimate 30% of jobs in Wirral paid below the Living Wage

Margaret Greenwood MP, Shadow Minister for Employment, is calling on the government to tackle the problem of low pay after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published new data today which suggest an alarmingly high number of jobs in Wirral are paid below the Living Wage as set by the independent Living Wage Foundation at £8.45 per hour across the UK (£9.75 an hour in London).

The statutory National Living Wage set by the government is £7.50 per hour for those aged 25 and over, £7.05 for those aged 21-24, £5.60 for ages 18-20 and £4.05 for under 18s.

The ONS statistics estimate

Constituency Number of jobs paid below the Living Wage % of jobs paid below the Living Wage
 Wirral West  4,000  28.5
 Wirral South  5,000  29.8
 Wallasey   7,000  34.2
 Birkenhead  10,000  27.7

According to ONS estimates, the total number of jobs in Wirral paid below the Living Wage of £8.45 an hour is 26,000, that's just over 30% of Wirral jobs and significantly higher than the average for the North West or the UK as a whole. 

There are nearly 6 million jobs in the UK paid below the Living Wage, 22% of all jobs. In the North West 23.8% of jobs are paid less than the Living Wage.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“Basic household bills such as food prices, rent and fuel costs are increasing and the head of the Financial Conduct Authority has warned of a crisis in consumer debt.

“The high levels of debt we are seeing are not the result of spending on luxuries, but of people simply trying to make ends meet.

“The government has introduced a National Living Wage at a much lower rate than the Living Wage Foundation's rate.  It is just not high enough to really tackle the problem of low pay.

“It is set at a lower level for young people under 25 and the head of the Financial Conduct Authority has recently highlighted rising debt amongst that age group as a particular problem.

“The government’s National Living Wage is a percentage of median earnings, but the real Living Wage of £8.45 an hour is based on the cost of living which is increasing faster than earnings.

“The government says that work is the best route out of poverty, but for over 30% of jobs in Wirral to be paid less than the Living Wage is a major concern.

“Labour would introduce a Living Wage of £10 per hour by 2020 and this would apply to all full-time workers, not just those over 25.

“On coming to power the Prime Minister claimed that her government would be on the side of families just about managing. If the government is serious about that, it needs to take action on low pay to support families struggling with debt just to pay basic bills.” 



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