Inequality in the UK is growing, with the proportion of people living below the poverty line higher than the EU average. While the introduction of the National Minimum Wage was welcome, the level at which it is set means that it is still possible for someone to work more than 60 hours a week and be paid less than £11,000 a year.
Studies have found that workers providing services to some of the most profitable companies in the UK economy are frequently paid wages so low that a forty hour week does not cover their most basic living costs. That is why London CITIZENS, a grassroots charity working for social economic and environmental justice, has fought for all workers in London to be paid a London Living Wage and Jean has been supporting their campaign for many years.
The London Living Wage is a London weighted minimum wage, which takes into account the higher living costs of London. The figure currently stands at £8.80 per hour; £1.87 above the National Minimum Wage. Jean supports the campaign calling for all employers become Living Wage Employers.
Jean has also called on the European Commission to ensure that Living Wage conditions are included in their procurement processes when they are outsourcing services to third parties. She has called for Living Wage policies to be encouraged across the EU as they contribute towards the achievement of agreed objectives for social and economic inclusion and sustainable development. You can find her Written Question on this issue and the Commission’s response on their website. Jean is continuing to frequently highlight this issue in the Parliament.
In this video, she speaks with HelpAge about why a living wage for all is so important: