Thursday, 1 November 2012

GREENS CAMPAIGNING FOR A ‘LIVING WAGE’ FOR KENT AND MEDWAY

Kent Green Party adopted a Living Wage policy in early 2011. November 4-10th 2012 is LIVING WAGE WEEK. Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, explains why the Party is marking this week by writing to all local councils in Kent and Medway to ask them to become Living Wage employers:
“Kent Green Party supports a Living Wage as a response to the declining incomes of the poorest fifth of households in our society. Kent Greens want all employers to pay a minimum wage of £7.20 per hour. This is based on the principle of a Living Wage being set and maintained at 60% of net national average earnings(1).
“What would this mean in Kent and Medway? A large proportion of our low paid workers would cease to need housing benefit. Low income households would have higher incomes which they could use in our local businesses, supporting private sector employment. Access to credit for those who need it would improve, as a result of higher incomes. Poorer households could afford to improve their diets, and could deal with higher food and fuel costs more easily.
“The principle of a Living Wage should be an essential element of the forward planning of our local councils and all other employers throughout Kent. Local Green parties throughout the country have joined in campaigns for a Living Wage, and London Mayor Boris Johnson is a leading supporter of this approach to eliminating poverty(2).”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, on 0797 0436 029. Contact address as above. Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
Notes:
1.      SEE: http://www.livingwage.org.uk/
2.      Local Green Parties have been at the forefront of Living Wage campaigning in England: Camden, Lewisham and Lambeth in London and Sheffield have all introduced local Living Wage policies as a result of campaigning by Green Party councillors eg. http://camden.greenparty.org.uk/localsites/camden/news/Introduce-London-Living-Wage-for-Camen-Council-contractors-now.html & http://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2010/02/02/living-wage-without-delay/ Living Wage policies were introduced in London as a result of Green Party Members of the Greater London Assembly successfully lobbying the previous Mayor, who set up a Living Wage Unit. In 2007, Oxford Green councillors succeeded in passing a Council motion to bring in a Living Wage of £7 for Council workers, and are now pushing to have this extended to contractors as well. http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2008-10-24-younggreens.html Brighton and Hove Green Party’s Budget for their Council for 2011-2012 includes planning for a Living Wage: http://www.brightonhovegreens.org/assets/files/localparties/brighton/publications/Greenalternativebrightonbudget2011web.pdf

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