Wales needs the Living Wage

First published in Letters

ACCORDING to the TUC nearly a quarter of all jobs in Wales pay less than the Living Wage.

For me I find this shocking as it is morally wrong to keep workers on such low pay. We have had the successful minimum wage but now it is time to have the Living Wage.

Just how are families supposed to get by with rising costs and low pay?

The answer is a Living Wage for all employees which is slightly higher than the Minimum Wage but would provide an acceptable standard of living in these tough times. This certainly would help tackle in-work poverty as it would be a great help.

What is also startling is the fact that Wales has a higher share of workers paid below the Living Wage than any other part of the UK. A Living Wage would change the lives of nearly 350000 Welsh workers and save the UK Treasury around £154m a year through reduced benefit payments and increased tax collection.

Currently working families are really finding it hard due to cost of living pressures while at the same time the boardroom fat cats continue to have huge rises and bonuses.

Sadly, my bid to get all employees at the Vale of Glamorgan Council was rejected by the Labour-led authority. I was really surprised by this as Leader Ed Miliband has made a clear pledge to support the Living Wage.

This means even some employees in my authority will continue to struggle on low pay. I say that our councils should be leading the way when it comes to the Living Wage and I will continue in my fight to get it for our staff.

Workers in Wales deserve to be treated better and all employees should be on at least the Living Wage. It is wrong to exploit the Welsh workforce by keeping them on low pay and we now need a commitment from more employers to sign up so that every worker can earn enough to provide the basic essentials for their families.

Councillor Richard Bertin, Independent

Barry

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