Many Not Being Paid Living Wage In Birmingham

23 February 2015, 11:26

New figures show more than half of workers in some parts of Birmingham are paid less than the living wage.

It's thought we need to earn £7.85 an hour in our city to be able to pay for basic living costs like housing and food.

Northfield has been named as the worst place in the country with 53.4% earning less than that.

Women there are even worse affected with 63.1% not getting paid the living wage.

In contrast, fewer than one in 10 workers in parts of London, Surrey, Cambridgeshire and Edinburgh earn less than the living wage.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: ``Extending the living wage is a vital step towards tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty across Britain.

``Working families have experienced the biggest squeeze on their living standards since Victorian times, and these living wage figures show that women are disproportionately affected.

``Pay has been squeezed at all levels below the boardroom, and the Government's mantra about 'making work pay' is completely out of touch with reality.

``The number of living wage employers is growing rapidly and unions are playing their part in encouraging more employers to sign up and pay it, but we need to see a far wider commitment to pay the living wage from government, employers and modern wages councils, to drive up productivity and set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more.''

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said: ``The growth of low pay under David Cameron shows the Tory plan has failed millions of working families.

``Five years of the Tory low-wage, low-skill economy has left one in five workers paid less than the living wage, making life harder for millions of people who do the right thing, work hard and contribute.''

In response a spokesman from the business department said: ``The Government is committed to improving living standards - particularly for the lowest paid through preventing exploitation, reducing taxes for the lowest paid and increasing employment.

``Since raising the personal income tax allowance to £10,000, we have seen 3.2 million people removed from the income tax system altogether.

``We therefore support businesses that choose to pay the Living Wage, however only when it is affordable and not at the expense of jobs.''

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