LABOUR’S General Election candidate Lynn Denham has welcomed the increase in the real ‘living wage’ as a much-needed pay rise for city residents.
Speaking as Living Wage Week came to an end yesterday (Tuesday), the city councillor said the new rate which will increase by 30p to £9.30 per hour for workers across the UK and by 20p to £10.75 an hour in London could have a positive contribution to the local economy.
The Real Living Wage is a voluntary rate which is determined based on the cost of household goods and services.
“Living Wage Week is a fantastic opportunity to encourage businesses across Worcester to pay their staff the real living wage, following the lead of Worcester City Council,” she said.
“I am pleased the announced increase to the real living wage will provide a boost to many working people across the UK.
“Workers in Worcester have seen real wages and living standards fall, with many struggling to make ends meet.
“Paying the real living wage gives them a much-needed pay rise, whilst also being proven to boost productivity and increasing the ability of residents to put money back into the local economy.
“I have had very positive conversations with the Local Economic Partnership and Business Improvement District about the real living wage and the positive impact it could have on our local economy.”
Coun Denham also spoke out in response to a TUC report which showed 18.9 per cent of city youngsters are in poverty,
“Nine years of cuts have seen our region face one of the biggest increases in child poverty in the country,” she said.
“These are families where parents have to choose between putting the heating on or giving their family a proper meal.
“Families who suffer the constant stress of trying to pay off debts. Families who can’t afford school trips, or to travel to see relatives just a few towns away.”