Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Cornwall needs wages to go up and employment conditions to improve


“New figures suggest that in some parts of Cornwall as many as 40% of jobs are not paying a living wage – what can be done to tackle the problem of low pay levels in Cornwall and should employers be allowed to continue employing staff on zero hour contracts?”


This is a very topical question, the TUC is running a Fair Pay Fortnight campaign at the moment, raising the issue of low pay and this week in the news, low wages across Cornwall has featured
heavily. That said, although it is higher on the political agenda and we should be grateful that politicians are showing an interest, it has been a problem in Cornwall for certainly all of my life time. Combined with high house prices, the low wages in Cornwall are a blight and contribute to the brain drain of young talented people moving from Cornwall. 

Government needs to take action to make pay fair and protect workers rights. There is a wide disparity between the minimum wage and the living wage, this wide gap needs to close. I'm fully supportive of the Living Wage and I'm proud that I put it forward to Penzance Town Council and that we are now a living wage employer. I think we need to live in a society where work pays and it is fair, abuses of 0 hours contracts needs to be clamped down on. The next government should introduce the living wage for all public sector workers.