A Living Wage for Wales

Note: Today's fantastic announcement of a new £9-an-hour National Living Wage by the Conservative Government in Westminster will see an increase in the wages of millions of people.

 

Declaring "Britain deserves a pay rise", the Chancellor said over-25s would benefit from the compulsory increase by 2020.

Mr Osborne said it would mean a direct pay rise for two and a half million people and that those currently on the minimum wage would see a £5,000 wage increase by the end of the decade.

Delivering the first all-Conservative Budget in 20 years, Mr Osborne said his economic blueprint was a "plan for working people”.

He also increased the level at which working people start to pay income tax to £11,000 from April and linked it to the minimum wage, meaning the poorest paid should never pay income tax.

Below is an article outlining my vision for a living wage for Wales at our spring conference last April...

Welsh Conservatives will seek to deliver the living wage for every public sector worker in Wales. 

The Party will also look to bring forward measures to encourage the private sector to pay the living wage so Wales becomes the first living wage nation in the UK. 

In his speech to the annual Welsh Conservative Party conference, the Opposition Leader, Andrew RT Davies, announced that under the Welsh Conservatives every public sector worker within the competence of the Welsh Government will be paid the living wage by the end of the next Assembly term in 2021. 

The living wage outside London is £7.85 an hour. 

According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014, the 10th percentile of public sector workers earn £7.87 an hour, confirming that less than 10% of public sector is paid below the hourly living wage. 

Since 2010, many of the lowest paid workers in Wales have benefitted from the increases in the personal allowance, including 155,000 who have been taken out of tax altogether. 

The next Conservative UK Government is committed to raising the personal allowance further to £12,500.

With the personal allowance rising to £10,600 in April, someone working 25 hours a week could earn the living wage and also not pay a penny in income tax.

Andrew RT Davies AM, Welsh Conservative Leader, said, "Welsh Conservatives are on the side of hardworking people who want to get on in life.

"Conservatives in government have made work pay by increasing the personal allowance, capping benefits and now we want to go further by ensuring public sector workers in Wales receive the living wage. 

"While Carwyn Jones’ Labour Party has rejected every opportunity to put money in people’s pockets by rejecting a council tax freeze, opposing tax cuts and wasting public money on an airport, we believe people can spend their money better than politicians. 

"After 16 years of successive Labour governments, Wales remains the poorest part of the UK with many people on low wages, trapping them in poverty. 

"Welsh Conservatives will tackle the root causes of poverty and deprivation by ensuring no public sector worker earns less than £7.85 an hour as well as making it easier to set up a business and create jobs and prosperity. 

"This sends a clear message that a future Welsh Conservative Government will tackle unfair pay and set a clear example to all employers to value and invest in their staff. 

"Welsh Conservatives are a party of aspiration, who want to help people get on in life."