29 October 2012

First, let me thank and congratulate Jude Robinson, the only Labour member of Cornwall unitary council, for introducing the living wage, an unprincely £7.20 an hour, to her fellow councillors. She did this in an amendment to the motion on councillors’ pay; her amendment asked for a report on “how we might fund a living wage for low paid staff” at the council (webcast at 4:22:45). It failed miserably, but I think – well, I hope – that was because the rest of the Robinson pay amendment displeased the councillors. Bless too those other councillors who voted for it.

I hope she, and other councillors of progress and reform, will press on with this issue of the living wage. The council should be encouraged to tackle this injustice of low pay for its employees. These are difficult economic times but the low paid in its employ should be a priority for it. We should not build Cornwall’s prosperity on the backs of the poor and low paid.

In the meantime, very well done Jude Robinson – and her Labour party.

Now I should like to see the reformers in the other parties follow and campaign within the council for a living wage. Claims to be progressive do not cut it: what is wanted is the practical justice of moves to a living wage.

Earlier posts on Cornwall living wage

A proper Cornish wage 10 May 2012

Progress to a living wage 29 June 2011

A living wage for Cornwall 17 May 2011

The pro-Cornish wage 31 August 2010

And these are relevant

Low pay Britain by Matthew PENNYCOOK and Matthew WHITTAKER, Resolution Foundation 29 September 2012

What price a living wage? Matthew PENNYCOOK, Resolution Foundation 7 May 2012

Minimum wage: maximum impact Alan MANNING, Resolution Foundation 17 April 2012