10 May 2012

The Resolution Foundation and Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) have produced an informative study of the likely financial effect of moving to a living wage on various sectors of the economy. This shows that while in some sectors it would be very difficult to move to a living wage in one move, getting there over time is realisable.

I believe that the gradual approach is right for Cornwall to move to a living wage.

I think Cornwall Council should lead here. It should state that its aim is to have all its employees on the living wage, currently £7.20 an hour. By the way, that £7.20 assumes that people claim all the benefits and credits they are entitled to; without those extras I think the wage outside London would be around £9 an hour.

It is time the political parties in Cornwall, well at any rate those who describe themselves as progressives, unequivocably argued for the living wage and began to press Cornwall Council. The national organisations in Cornwall such as banks and supermarkets should be pushed too. Companies here advertising work at less than the living wage should be encouraged to think how they could get to pay it.

As we see the mandatory national minimum wage erode and the cornishing of pay, it is more important than ever to campaign for a decent living wage. It’s a question of social and economic justice. It makes some of the preoccupations of local politics seem small beer.

Earlier posts on the living wage
The pro-Cornish wage 31 August 2010
A living wage for Cornwall 17 May 2011
Progress to a living wage 29 June 2011

And on low pay in 2011
See Working for nothing – the truth about low pay in the UK in the Observer for 2 October 2011
Here’s the research from the Resolution Foundation Low pay Britain September 2011.