Plymouth City Council response to Budget announcement on Minimum Wage

Plymouth’s commitment to be a Living Wage city means we are one step ahead of the Government, following the announcement today on the minimum wage increase.

Following the Chancellor’s Budget statement today which included a 20p rise in the Minimum Wage, Plymouth City Council wants to remind people that it has already committed to pay all staff the Living Wage and is encouraging other local employers in the city to do likewise. The minimum wage will increase from £6.50 per hour to £6.70 per hour, whereas the Living Wage is £7.85 per hour.

According to the Plymouth Fairness Commission report, nationally, average incomes have fallen by eight per cent since 2008 and 6.7m working families now live below the poverty line, an increase of half a million since 2011. Half of those families have an adult paid below the living wage, and their number grew from 4.6m in 2011 to 5m in 2012.

There are currently 1663 employees at Plymouth City Council who benefit from the living wage supplement. The Fairness Commission recommended that by April 2016, all public sector employers in Plymouth pay the Living Wage.

Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement that the minimum wage is to rise by 20pence is an insult to people who are on the lowest incomes, and given the general drop in living standards under the Coalition Government over the past few years, it’s too little too late. Plymouth City Council is working to offer a better standard of living with our commitment to the Living Wage.

“We are also encouraging local employers in Plymouth to pay the Living Wage. The Fairness Commission report recommended that in order to give everyone a better quality of life, we should be paying everyone at least the Living Wage.

“We call on the Government to follow Plymouth’s lead in trying to create a fairer and more equal society – with rising living costs, increasing energy bills and a lower standard of living generally, people need to be paid at least the Living Wage.”