Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has called for a pay rise for everyone receiving the so-called ‘National Living Wage.’
The Rhondda AM, who made the calls during Living Wage Week, said the current rate of £7.50 an hour is still nearly £1 below the Real Living Wage – the independently calculated hourly rate which workers need to get by.
Ms Wood said it was time for the UK Government to lift the hourly rate so that workers are not living on the breadline. She also said a boost to the pay packets of workers across the UK would provide the disposable income boost needed to stimulate the economy – especially on our High Streets.
“Millions of people are being paid under the independently calculated hourly rate required to live on,” said Ms Wood. “That cannot be right. If the UK Government was to rectify this and introduce a Real Living Wage, it would boost wages by £2000, with 21-25 year olds earning minimum wages benefitting from a pay rise of nearly £2,700 a year.
“Ensuring decent pay for everyone will become even more important as household budgets are inevitably squeezed by the recent interest rate rise. Unless action is taken, poverty will increase and this will affect children in Wales particularly.
“While responsibility for pay largely rests with the UK Government, the Labour Government in Wales cannot be absolved of all responsibility on this.
“Carwyn Jones’ administration is now the only Government in the UK that has not committed to lifting the cap on wages in the NHS and the public sector. This is despite it being a Welsh Labour election manifesto promise in May.
“NHS staff and other public sector workers deserve a pay rise and the Labour Government in Wales should be delivering on its promises, not reneging on them.”
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