I have received figures from the Living Wage Campaign which show that 34.1% of people in work in Delyn earn less than they need to live on. The figure for Wales is 24.7%.
The Living Wage Campaign is an independent movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. They accredit businesses as Living Wage employers to demonstrate that they pay their staff a wage calculated on the real cost of living.
When you combine these dreadful figures with those of child poverty and employment you can see that Delyn is being left behind by the UK Government. We know that some parts of Delyn have child poverty rates, after housing costs, of 42.6% (Holywell Central ward). This is not just a problem isolated in small parts of the constituency. The figures show that child poverty is high in all areas of Delyn. A quick snapshot shows that poverty rates stand at:
• Flint Castle: 41.9%
• Bagillt West: 34.41%
• Flint Oakenholt: 33.03%
• Mold Broncoed: 32.6%
On unemployment we have seen it increase in Delyn between June to July 2018. It stands at 260 people higher than in July 2017 and youth employment levels continue to struggle.
I am deeply angered that over a third of people who are in work are earning less than they need to live on. It should be a simple fact of life that if you do a decent day’s work you should get a decent day’s pay. The fact that this many people are not getting this is a disgrace.
People’s wages have failed to keep up with the cost of living in the past eight years. This has been caused by an abject failure of the UK Government to improve the pay and conditions of people across the country. Whilst they have been busy undermining the ability of trade unions to negotiate pay and conditions or arguing amongst themselves over who should be the next Prime Minister they have allowed the UK economy to work only in the interests of a few.
Let’s be clear, when wages fail to keep up with the cost of living children fall into poverty. This dramatically undermines their life chances and sees a generation of talent lost. All of this is happening in the name of an ideological project to shrink the size of Government’s stake in society. Wages need to increase; zero hours contracts and agency work needs to be investigated; and investment needs to be improved in North Wales. Only then we will see the economy working for everyone.