Quarter earn less than ‘living wage’

More than a quarter of people living in north Kirklees are scraping by on less than the living wage.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 13th April 2014, 2:00 pm
MP Mike Wood.
MP Mike Wood.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) revealed that 27 per cent of people living in Dewsbury earn less than the aspirational £7.65 per hour.

Figures also showed 26 per cent of employees in the Batley and Spen constituency also fall below the threshold.

The living wage is set at £7.65 outside London and £8.80 in the capital.

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The figures are calculated on the amount an individual needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living, based on where they live in the UK.

Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood praised Kirklees Council after it revealed staff could be in line for a pay rise under plans to pay the living wage.

He said: “The figures are not a surprise but the recent decision from the local authority will make a difference.

“The decision will benefit not just the recipient, it will help to improve the local economy.”

Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell said having three quarters of his constituency earning the living wage should be seen as a positive.

He said: “Going back two or three years, there was a lot of people worrying if they would still have a job and people agreed to big pay cuts.

“We are moving away from that now and the figures should be looked at positively.”

The TUC revealed the picture was worse for women, with 38 per cent and 34 per cent earning less than the living wage in Dewsbury, and Batley and Spen, respectively.

Yorkshire and the Humber TUC Campaigns Officer Neil Foster said: “Extending the living wage is a vital way of tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty across Yorkshire – and the UK as a whole.

“Working families are experiencing the biggest pressure on their living standards since Victorian times.

“Pay is being squeezed at all levels and it is costing our economy.”