The recent report by the Trades Union Congress that showed the extent of the low pay that blights the local economy.
In last week’s Journal our local MP Tessa Munt, exposed her complacency and dismissive attitude on low pay, in the Wells constituency nearly 4 people out of 10 earn less than £7.45 an hour.
She seems to thinks it acceptable for low pay for part time workers and those in the service sector, every worker should earn an acceptable wage, these workers should not be deemed to be second class.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s recent research shows that the cost of a minimum living standard has increased by a quarter since 2008, this to rising costs; in food, energy costs, housing and cuts or freezes to tax credits and other in-work benefit. This means the pressure to raise wages has become even greater.
The growth of insecure, part time jobs has further undermined wages.
Low pay is a symptom of economic failure, yet it those who are paid low pay are those who pay the price with poor living standards.
This week the Financial Times stated that productivity in this country is 20% lower in this country than other leading economic countries in recent years. This shows how the coalition government has failed to invest in regional infrastructure, failed to help business to attract finance from the financial sector, failed to increase training opportunities in the workplace.
It is obvious that government has to do more in providing affordable housing and reducing childcare costs.
The economy cannot afford not to invest in supply side measures such as training, as only a high skill productive economy can pay better wages.
It is clear that this government and our local MP has failed to focus on the issues that affect low paid workers, they have failed to tackle the utility companies and their huge price hikes, not invested in child care, they have cut in work tax credits and done very little to tackle the housing crises.