TUC says Osborne should stop cutting tax credits and persuade bosses to pay more

Tim Lezard Europe, UK,
Ritzy workers campaigning for the Living Wage

Ritzy workers campaigning for the Living Wage

Six million workers in the UK are paid less than the Living Wage, according to new research released today.

Accountants KPMG said there is a “worrying trend” of part-time, female and young workers earning less than £7.85 an hour and £9.15 in London.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Ministers have talked a great deal about making work pay. But try telling that to the six million low-paid workers who earn less than the Living Wage.

“In-work poverty is soaring in the UK. In London alone it has increased by 70% over the last decade.

“Instead of slashing tax credits for the working poor – which will leave many low earners in even worse dire straits – the Chancellor should be encouraging more employers to pay the real Living Wage.

“Research has shown again and again that adopting this standard boosts staff productivity. And along with vital in-work benefits it enables workers to earn just enough to live a decent life.”

Daisy Bata, a former cinema worker and BECTU member who went on strike for a living wage, said: “I was earning less than the Living Wage at a London cinema. You simply don’t get enough to cover your costs of living. You’re trapped in poverty, with constant financial stress and worries.

“Like many young people, I used to think that living on low wages was something I had to put up with. But by taking strike action with my co-workers we eventually won a pay rise.

“I don’t understand why the government is threatening our right to strike with this Trade Union Bill. It was the last resort my co-workers and I had to get fair pay.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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