Jane East wants to encourage businesses to pay the Living Wage.
A new report by KPMG has found that the number of people not being paid the living wage has risen by147,000 since last year with women and students being hit the hardest.
Kirklees Council earlier this year passed a motion agreeing to start paying the Living Wage to all its employees. The living wage currently stands at £7.65 an hour, £1.15 more than the National Minimum Wage.
Jane East commented, “I am delighted that Kirklees has pledged to start paying the living wage. I am proud that Labour will give a tax break in 2016 to small businesses who pay the living wage. Hard working people are feeling the squeeze as their wages have stagnated for years whilst gas and electricity prices soar. The food bill of an average family of four has increased by over £660 in the last year. Britain needs a pay rise in both the public and private sectors. I urge other employers to follow the Council and the University and start to pay their staff the Living Wage.”
Cllr Hilary Richards, who seconded the motion at Kirklees Council, said, “Research from November 2013 estimated that 34,000 people in Kirklees were being paid under the Living Wage. Over 1800 staff will benefit, meaning more money can be spent locally in shops and other businesses, keeping the Kirklees pound in Kirklees. I hope others will follow suit.”