Frank Field MP
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We must build on Everton's Living Wage commitment

25
Feb

Following my campaign, Everton Football Club have announced that, beginning in this month’s pay packet, everybody employed by the club will receive at least a Living Wage for the work they do.

Everton’s announcement is both timely and welcome, given that this week’s data from the Trades Union Congress shows almost one in four workers across the North West is paid less than the Living Wage – deemed to be the minimum hourly rate necessary to afford life’s essentials.

The club’s commitment shows that our most successful organisations can afford to give their lowest paid workers a pay rise, and, given the right encouragement, are willing to do so. West Ham United wrote to me this week to follow suit, pledging to implement the London Living Wage for their ground staff from June onwards.

We must continue campaigning across the board for such moves. Our next objective in Merseyside must be to gain a similar commitment from Liverpool Football Club, and hereby build momentum across the Premier League – which recently received a £5 billion cash injection from broadcasting rights.

I am looking likewise at our other major profitable industries – including the main high street fast food and coffee chains, and the finance and banking sector – to see where there lies room for improvement in the offer made to the lowest paid workers.

But in the longer term, I believe, such moves are best made on a statutory basis, so that those industries which can most easily afford to pay a higher minimum wage are obliged to do so.

I will therefore campaign in the next Parliament for the Low Pay Commission to reinvent itself as a Fair Wage Commission, with the task of implementing such proposals.

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