I am deeply concerned that 25.5% of the working population of Flintshire are earning below the Living Wage. The Voluntary Living Wage – a rate calculated to meet the costs of living – is currently set at £8.25 an hour. This is £1.05 higher than the UK Government’s mandatory National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and above.
The figures released by the Bevan Foundation show that nearly 300,000 people in Wales are paid under the Voluntary Living Wage. The lack of a living wage means that people have enough money to pay the bills, but nothing else.
Paying the Living Wage is good for employers and employees alike. It is proven to help reduce staff turnover, meaning that employers have dependable and well trained staff and employees have the security of a decent job.
Paying the Living Wage is good for the local economy. It ensures that Flintshire residents have more money to spend in our towns and villages, which makes sure that they can grow and employ more people. Improving people’s quality of life.
These are very shocking figures. We have many brilliant employers in Flintshire who pay staff well but this level of poverty impacts upon the county as a whole – low or zero hour contracts and temporary work hit hard -we need to raise wage levels which will help ensure that companies hold onto the brightest and best staff whilst giving a fair days pay to employees.
The UK Government’s introduction of the National Living Wage was a fudge. It neither pays a decent wage nor is a living wage. It was a political manoeuvre that has failed the people of Flintshire.
The Government likes to boast about record low unemployment rates, but what they fail to mention is that wages are stagnant. All people want is to be able to have a decent job, in a good working environment where they are paid fairly for their work. For too long this hasn’t been the case. I will continue to work with businesses in Flintshire to ensure they see the benefits of paying the Voluntary Living Wage.