I attended a parliamentary event where I joined calls for the real living wage to be paid.
In Delyn, 12% of workers, 15,000 in total, earn less than the voluntary Living Wage. In Wales, this figure is 23%, a total of 255,000 people. This occurs with the backdrop of gross domestic household income in Wales currently standing at £16,341. That’s 14% below the national average, while the rate of relative low income (after housing costs) is 23%.
The 2017 child poverty rate in Delyn stands at 18%.
Sadly, there are no Living Wage accredited employers headquartered in Delyn. But this does not mean that there are no Living Wage employers in Delyn. There may be some branches of businesses who operate in Delyn and pay the Living Wage.
Figures released by the Labour Party recently demonstrated that if Labour had won the General Election 17,333 workers in Flintshire would now be getting a pay rise. This is because Labour promised at the General Election to implement a new £10 an hour real living wage.
The current national minimum wage stands at £7.50 an hour for over 25s. The minority Government calls this a ‘living wage’ but in reality it is barely covering the ever increasing cost of living.
Delyn workers deserve a pay rise. We have seen the longest fall in living standards since the Napoleonic wars, a fact that the Government try to gloss over. Inflation now stands at 3% and wage growth still lags behind. If the Government was serious about tackling this cost of living crisis they would rise the national minimum wage to keep pace with inflation.
The Living Wage Foundation is an excellent organisation who fight with MPs to get a fair days pay for a fair days work. I would urge as many businesses in Delyn to get in contact with them if you already pay the real living wage of £8.45 per hour to all employees 18 and older. They can give you accreditation which demonstrates you are a fair employer. I know many businesses in Delyn do pay this wage voluntarily and I commend them for that.
We need to work with businesses to secure decent jobs. That is why the best way to do so is for the UK Government to take action to give businesses a level playing field where all employers pay a real living wage.