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Hugh Bayley Calls For More York Firms To Sign Up To The Living Wage


6:57am 11th November 2013

A week after four new York firms signed up to the Living Wage, now one of the city's MPs wants more to do the same. Hugh Bayley says all employers should aim to pay their staff at least 7-65 an hour. But the York Central MP says firms should only do it when they can afford to.

Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, met with Susan Wood, Advice York Partnership Coordinator, Jess Butcher, Housing Debt Worker and Steve Allitt, Welfare Benefits Supervisor from York Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to learn how the living wage is helping the staff and their families. 

York CAB is one of five major organisations in the city which have been officially recognised as Living Wage employers in the last year.  The others are City of York Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Housing Trust and York CVS.  Employees of these organisations know that they will receive the Living Wage rate (currently £8.55 an hour in London and £7.45 in the rest of the UK) and any future increases.

The Living Wage is an informal benchmark based on the amount an individual needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living and it is greater than the national minimum wage which is set by the Chancellor.  This currently stands at £6.31 an hour for adults and £5.03 for people aged between 18 and 21.   

City of York Council are the first unitary council in Yorkshire to become a Living Wage employer and the organisation is seeking to make York a Living Wage City.  Many York residents are struggling to pay their bills and the introduction of the Living Wage could make a real difference to them, says Hugh Bayley.

George Vickers, Chief Executive at York CAB says: “Low pay is a real issue in York.  We know that more than a quarter of jobs in the city are in low paid sectors leaving thousands of working families struggling to make ends meet.

“We see them in the bureau suffering stress as they face mounting debts. The Living Wage could make a real difference.”  

Hugh Bayley MP says: “York CAB recognises the importance of paying the Living Wage and of joining together with other major employers in the city to form a Living Wage City coalition. I often meet people who are struggling to pay their bills and feed their families in the current economic climate. The introduction of the Living Wage is helping families to escape poverty     and have a higher standard of living.

“Ed Miliband has pledged that companies which pay the living age will get a 12 month tax break if Labour win the General Election. This will help thousands of families across the country and it will pay for itself by reducing the number of families relying on state benefits. I hope more employers in York will pay the Living Wage and I applaud the CAB for being one of the first to do this.”

Councillor James Alexander, Leader of the Council, says: “York was recognised this week as being at the forefront of the Living Wage Campaign. It is great that Hugh Bayley and other Labour MPs are promoting this policy of tax breaks to help more employers pay their staff the living wage.” 

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