22 July 2013

I have been crying up the living wage, £7.45 an hour in Cornwall, for a while, arguing that Cornwall Council should take the lead here. Jude Robinson, a Labour councillor, raised the question in the previous council last year.

Excellently, Sunshine Care in Truro has announced it will pay the living wage, and John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, has now set up the Living Wage Commission to advance the wage nationally. He rightly says in an article in the Observer in support of the living wage that workers should be paid “enough to live on…a wage rate set to ensure a basic but acceptable standard of living.”

The Sentamu commission is calling for evidence from those paid less than the living wage and I hope some of those employed directly and indirectly by Cornwall Council on less than £7.45 an hour will respond.

Now is the time. No more waiting. Cornwall Council should start on the road to a living wage. Jude Robinson showed the realistic way last autumn and now cross-party support could press the council to effective action. Yes, there are the constraints of austerity but there is also human will.

The Cornwall cabinet in its aims set out on 3 June this year spoke of the pursuit of social justice and equality. Cornwall Council should pursue justice for its low paid workers urgently. As Sentamu says, “What workers really need is pay, not platitudes”. The living wage is the benchmark by which Cornwall council and cabinet will be judged.

The previous posts on the living wage are here

Cheers, Jude Robinson 29 October 2012

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

Home truths by Vidhya ALEKESON and Giselle CORY, Resolution Foundation 12 July 2013

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