Liz Kendall pledges to make Britain a living wage society

24th June, 2015 10:00 pm

Liz Kendall has tonight pledged to make Britain a “living wage society.”

Liz Kendall MP

Kendall is one of four people in the running to be Labour’s next leader. She has argued that “Labour must focus on how we raise wages which is why we need to move to a living wage society.”
She outlined her plans at a “Liz for Women” event in central London this evening, saying she would create a living wage society and deliver a Low Pay Commission, not just a Minimum Wage Commission.The MP for Leicester West said the legal remit of the Low Pay Commission, the body which sets the level of the national minimum wage, should be expanded.

Kendall, who is currently shadow minister for care and older people, also said she would ensure that care workers, many of whom are women, are no longer exploited and that they get the pay they deserve. She has asked three people to look at how to address low pay in social care immediately. They are:
  • Baroness Denise Kingsmill, author of a report entitled ‘Taking care: an independent report into working conditions in social care’
  • Labour’s Mayor for Lewisham, Cllr Steve Bullock
  • Nita Clarke, OBE, Director of the Involvement and Participation Association and co-chair of the Employee Engagement Taskforce
Kendall said:
“We must tackle the inequalities in power, wealth and opportunity that scar our country and hold us all back. 

“That why today I’m pledging to move Britain to a living wage society, and that one of the first areas I will take action on as Labour leader is the scandal of low pay in social care.”“The minimum wage was one of the most important achievements of the last Labour Government. Labour members are rightly proud of this historic change 17 years ago.

 

“Now time for the next generation in Labour to build on that work to make sure more people can earn the living wage. 

“The Low Pay Commission is one of the best examples of what government can achieve when it brings together businesses, employees and trade unions to work in partnership. 

“Rather than tackling the full range of issues around low pay, it is focused on setting the level of the national minimum wage. We must now look at increasing pay beyond that. 

“As Labour’s next Prime Minister I would extend the legal remit of the Low Pay Commission to work with employers, unions and civil society to identify practical, non-statutory ways to move wages towards the living wage, sector by sector. 

“Giving the Low Pay Commission this additional remit would protect its independence and mean the expertise and institutional support behind the minimum wage can support the living wage as well.”

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