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The Real Implications of George Osborne’s ‘Living’ Wage

Anything that can be done to genuinely lift workers out of poverty-pay should be welcomed! Within Salford & Greater Manchester we have real challenges with low pay and Salford Labour Party are fully committed to working towards Salford becoming a Living Wage City!

The Living Wage is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) and currently stands at £9.15 per hour for London & £7.85 per hour outside of London.

George Osborne’s new ‘Living’ Wage of £7.20 per hour (for 25s and over) announced in July’s emergency budget clearly undermines the work of the LWF and those progressive organisations that have become accredited Living Wage employers. Osborne plan also proposes to raise his ‘Living’ Wage to £9.00 per hour by 2020, which is currently less than the London living wage.

More importantly, what is lost in Osborne’s low pay headline grabbing politics are the impacts of the proposals on our 2 million under-25 year olds, ineligible for this level of pay and expected to struggle to make-ends-meet on the national minimum wage. Similarly, Osborne’s cuts to tax credits and other in-work benefits will hit working families the hardest, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies stating:

“Among the 8.4 million working age households who are currently eligible for benefits or tax credits who do contain someone in paid work the average loss from the cuts to benefits and tax credits is £750 per year,”

Salford Labour Party believe that any developments to genuinely lift workers out of poverty-pay should be welcomed but it’s clear that the Chancellor favours sound-bite politics over a genuine commitment to tackling low-pay and its consequences within our communities.