Green Party advertise for policy assistant position at less than living wage

2nd February, 2015 2:18 pm

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UPDATE: Some are claiming that the £17,000 salary works out at a rate above the London Living Wage for the hours offered. However, the yearly salary for a living wage is normally calculated on the basis of a 37.5 hour week, which the job role did not offer, despite being advertised as “full time”.


Red faces for the Greens today, as it has emerged they have been advertising for a “policy assistant” position in their London headquarters – for less than the London living wage. Despite the party supporting an immediate raise of the minimum wage to living wage standards, and a further rise to £10 an hour by 2020, the full time job was advertised at a minimum £17,000 salary: around £1,000 under the London living wage.

A Green Party spokesperson underwhelmingly told The Times (£) that the move was “probably an oversight” – and now they have been called out the advert no longer appears to be on their website.

Labour MP John Spellar reacted to the news, saying: “No one will be surprised that yet again the Green party are caught out in hypocrisy.”

It’s not the only “oversight” with sums the Green Party have had. This emerges on the same day that the Greens announce that they have dropped plans for a “citizen’s income”, and the policy will not appear in their manifesto – a remarkable u-turn given their leader Natalie Bennett has twice appeared on television in recent weeks to defend the proposal. Grilled by Andrew Neil, Bennett claimed that the policy would be paid for by reductions in welfare administration.

However, on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, the Greens’ sole MP Caroline Lucas confirmed: “The citizens’ income is not going to be in the 2015 general election manifesto”.

Last week the Citizen’s Income Trust (CIT), who have advised the Green Party on policy, claimed that a citizen’s income would hit those on low incomes hardest. Their director Malcolm Torry said “I am not sure the Green Party has yet taken on our new research or the need to retain a means-tested element.”

They support a citizen’s income, but won’t offer one in their manifesto. They support a living wage, but don’t offer one in their office.

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  • Mike B

    It is almost axiomatic that the ‘anti-politics’ parties (Greens, UKIP,SNP) will offer simple sound bite solutions to complicated issues. These usually unravel at the first sign of proper scrutiny. Don’t get me wrong all parties make mistakes in policy formulation but at least the serious ones put a bit of thought and research into it.

    • Guest

      Labour’s fag-pack mansion tax is a simple sound bite solution to NHS funding too…

      • Mike B

        Those with deepest pockets should pay their fair share. That is why Labour’s policy contain safeguards for those who are property rich but asset poor.

      • Michael Murray

        Labour’s Mansion Tax on houses worth over £2 million is to help save and transform the NHS. It is not intended as the only source of NHS funding. Pretty big fag packet. The Mansion Tax was originally conceived by the Lib Dem stooges when they were proffering their socialist face to the electorate. However, they didn’t even vote for it when Labour gave the stooges the chance to do so in the Commons, so displeased were the stooges’ Tory masters with the idea. It has taken a true socialist party like Labour to develop the idea and promise its implementation. You will only get that if you vote Labour.

      • wolfman

        Mike has hit a nerve !!

    • Welsh_Dragon

      Yes serious ones should do their research here is the ad, do the maths. 35 hours @ £9.15 * 52 weeks = annual salary of £16,653. You’ll note that £16,653 is less than the £17,000 minimum salary offered for this job.

      • Paul

        Surely the most shocking thing here is that the communications department doesn’t know the difference between ‘dependant’ and ‘dependent’.

  • SilentHunter

    Gosh! How awful; one policy assistant being offered less than the minimum wage by the Greens. That couldn’t possibly be a mistake, now could it.

    I wonder how it looks in the context of Labour MP’s and their unpaid interns (that’s NO WAGE WHATSOEVER being paid to them) – how many was it again?

    From the Guardian:

    “Labour MPs placed 55 ads, four by shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, and six from shadow Treasury chief secretary Rachel Reeves.”

    People who live in greenhouses, shouldn’t throw stones.

    • Ian

      For heaven’s sake that was in 2011, that was Thatcher’s fault, not Chuka or Rachel’s.

      • SilentHunter

        Ah! So it’s a question of timing . . . Rather than hypocrisy.

        I see.

  • Guest

    Hilarious how LL and Labour politicians attack the Greens at every given opportunity, but are chickens when it comes to taking on UKIP. Wonder why that is.

    • Michael Murray

      The Greens and UKIP share much in common. Specifically their tendency to abandon unworkable, catastrophic policies once they have been subjected to serious forensic scrutiny. Vote for either of them and you will end up with the Tories back in Downing Street and even greater unregulated capitalism and public sector austerity. Vote Green — get Blue. Vote UKIP and you will get an even deeper shade of blue. Vote for the Tartan Tories and you will send Cameron straight to Downing Street.

    • wolfman

      Oh dear ???… Yes everybody is afraid of Farage and his incredible policies.

    • Lizz

      Sounds like the Greens in Brighton and Hove – attack Labour but don’t say anything against the Tories!

    • Mike B

      Personally I am an equal opportunity policy critic. I may have loyalty to the Labour party but I feel it important to call out any party when they promote rubbish. That of course can include my own party but certainly it includes UKIP, The Greens, Tories or the Lib Dems.

  • Lee Giles

    The higher London Living Wage is £9.15 and the job is 35 hours a week – not 37.6 hours as used in the article.

    35 x £9.15 x 52 = £16,653 p.a. before tax

    So there.

  • Philip Leicester

    Feckin hell, someone cocked up. Quick kill them. Like those Labour MPs who accidently walked through the Lobby to support the ConDem Austerity budget. Dear dear you haven’t got much on your mind today have you, whilst Ed’s getting roasted by the ultra-neoliberal rightwing media (and some of his own) for ownly being slightly neoliberal.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    It would perhaps be better, for all parties, if the job of developing policy was given to people with knowledge and experience of complex matters, and hence have an ability to command a proper salary. Pay the right person the right salary.

    It cannot be any wonder that so many policies developed by all parties fall completely flat if they are developed by the office junior.

    • Rustam Majainah

      No policies within the Greens are developed by paid officers, but by members of the party with experience in the subject. These are all democratically approved by the membership of the party at twice yearly annual conferences.

  • Philip Leicester

    Liar liar pants on fire.

    The party advertised [the] job for between £17,000 and £20,000, The Times reported (£) – but the London living wage stands at £9.15 an hour for London.

    This works out to around £17,890 a year when the employee works 37.6
    hours a week – the national average according to the Office of National
    Statistics, which says the average London salary is £35,238.

    And your Huffpost article is rascist to boot.

  • Alex Wright

    And would Labour pay for this kind of post, or fill it with an unpaid intern?

    I know that the party is a separate structure from MP’s staff, but Labour (and Tory and LibDem) MPs certainly use a lot of full time, unpaid admin staff despite the disclaimer now present on W4MP – which often just means roles with set hours and responsibilities are labeled “volunteer” instead of “intern” as previously.

  • Welsh_Dragon

    Here’s the actual advert – £17,000 to £20,000 for a 35 hour week, so basic maths 9.15*35*52=£16,653. Not £17,000 or put it another way 17,000/52/35=9.34 or .19 above living wage for London.

    Huff post ran an article which they have now withdrawn perhaps you might wish to do the same, what with it being factually incorrect. As for the job being no longer advertised, you may wish to check out the interview date – 15th December, so far from taken down more likely position filled!

  • Welsh_Dragon

    Have you apologised for fetting it wrong yet??? huff Post have, I think you should do the same Labour lost!

  • Viridis Lumen

    Perhaps you should do the maths – 17,000 for a 35 hour week works out at 9.34 per hour, 19p higher than the London Living wage rate. Perhaps your friends in the Murdoch Press need a calculator because I am sure they’d never try to actually smear a left wing party.Would they?..Would you???


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