, 15 November 2015, Tags:
We in the Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party welcome the Labour Party’s staunch opposition to the cuts to working tax credits that will leave millions of workers worse off. We have been pleased to see that our local Labour MPs are also taking a stand against this. However, we also note the elephant in the room that no political party is discussing. This is the fact that the Government’s new, so-called 'living wage' - which is being introduced to soften the blow of the cuts - isn’t actually a living wage at all, but merely a slightly higher minimum wage (£7.20 from next April, instead of the current £6.70). Furthermore, the under 25s aren't even entitled to this new minimum wage. The Living Wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation, is £9.40 an hour in London. According to the Office for National Statistics, 39% of employees in Waltham Forest are paid less than the Living Wage. In Redbridge it is 25%.
The Green Party firmly believe that all working people should get paid a wage they can genuinely live on. We call on the government to implement the actual Living Wage for every adult as a minimum and let the benefit bill go down naturally as a result rather than pursue this arbitrary cut in people’s pay. Dealing with the root cause of low pay is the only way to get the welfare bill down in a way that doesn’t harm the poorest in our country.