It was great to welcome locally elected UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) members along to my constituency office last week to discuss the living wage. The UKYP believe that everyone should have a decent standard of living and have been promoting the living wage as one of their many campaigns.
UKYP is a great mechanism for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change. I welcomed the opportunity of sitting down with this group of enthusiastic individuals and chatting with them about this important issue.
It is vital that the living wage is promoted and that living wage employers are highlighted in the hope of encouraging other employers to adopt the living wage. I understand that there are currently 66 living wage accredited employers in Yorkshire and the Humber but I believe there are many more who are not yet accredited.
I am a living wage employer and thanks to the UKYP I am now accredited!
Since the last election average wages have fallen by £1,600 a year with the number of people getting less than the Living Wage rising from 3.4 million to 5.3 million and I know from talking to my constituents that many people are struggling to cover the basic cost of living and low paid insecure jobs are a big part of their concerns.
People are finding it hard to pay energy bills, feed their families and pay childcare costs whilst on low wages and being paid the living wage of £7.65 per hour would make a huge difference to so many local families.
Labour would make work pay and put up the minimum wage to at least £8 an hour by 2020.