Sandra Osborne, MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, is calling for the biggest companies in her constituency and across the country to pay their workers living wages.
Ms Osborne has signed a House of Commons motion in support of the JustPay! campaign for Living Wages in the FTSE 100 and is now calling on constituents to ‘activate their money’ for Living Wages.
Sandra’s intervention comes in light of the fact that 3.5 million people in the UK earn less than £7 an hour whilst the chief executives of the UK’s largest companies earn an average of £4.2 million per year. FairPensions, who campaign for responsible investment, are asking members of the public to ‘put their mouths where their money is’ and lobby Britain’s banks and insurers on low pay at www.activateyourmoney.org.
With over half of poor children in this country living with at least one parent who works, campaigners believe that now is the time to act on low pay.
Sandra Osborne said: “I am really pleased to have taken action on Low Pay in my constituency and across the country. I would urge others to activate their money and take action on low pay.
“With CEOs in the FTSE 100 often earning more in a day than their lowest paid workers earn in a year, it is hard to maintain the argument that the Living Wage is unaffordable.
“Living wages make sense not only for the millions of people on poverty pay but also for businesses who would benefit from better staff retention and less absenteeism through illness.”
Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive of FairPensions said: “We applaud Sandra’s contribution to lifting families in Britain out of working poverty and hope to see more of Britain’s biggest companies paying the Living Wage very soon.”
“We’re especially pleased to see people mobilising their money and calling for Living Wages in the financial sector. The public are rightly concerned about high pay at the top but it’s time that we got equally exercised about the plight of those who clean their offices.”
A Living Wage is the minimum hourly wage required for housing, food and other basic needs for an individual and their family.
Within London it is set each year by the Mayor’s office and is currently £8.30. Loughborough University calculates a single rate for the rest of the country which is currently £7.20 per hour.
The National Minimum Wage, on which many people survive, is £5.93 per hour (rising to £6.08 in October).