Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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More people are living in poverty whilst working compared with unemployed in poverty

5
Aug
The consensus for the past 150 years has held that generating economic growth brings with it economic prosperity for all.

Indeed, this is the logic which runs through the current Government’s economic strategy.

However, an examination of the living standards of low-paid workers over the past decade shows that growth does not necessarily lead to a decent floor for everybody.

For example, there are currently more people in this country who are living in poverty whilst working compared to those who are unemployed and in poverty.

Without doubt low pay is a one of the biggest issues within our country at the moment and here Wirral Council is taking a national lead.

This week Phil Davies, the leader of the Council, has instructed Wirral’s chief executive to pay all the apprentices employed by the council the living wage.

This is a perfect example of good politics as it will make a real positive difference to people’s lives.

This is another success after Phil established a North West Living Wage Network in Birkenhead with regional employers, local authorities and trade unions earlier in the year, to spread best practice through means such as accreditation, procurement and incentives for local employers.

We have very difficult decisions to make in the current economic climate – at both the regional and national level.

But Wirral Council’s focus hasn’t just been responding to national government cuts. It is also about trying to build a fairer society.

This living wage decision represents a step in that direction.
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