Joe Cullinane

Scottish Labour Councillor for Kilwinning

Osborne’s Living Wage Con

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Joe has hit out at Tory Chancellor George Osborne by accusing him of a “Living Wage con”.

Osborne announced a “National Living Wage” as part of his emergency budget on 8thJuly. The “National Living Wage” will be £7.20 per hour from April 2016 and will increase to £9 per hour by 2020. However, Councillor Cullinane has stated it is a disgrace for Mr Osborne to call his measure a Living Wage. 

The Living Wage, which is independently calculated based on the cost of living, is already £7.85 per hour across the UK and £9.15 per hour in London so from day one Osborne’s “National Living Wage” will be significantly below the official Living Wage rate. The Living Wage was last £7.20 per hour in 2011. 

Furthermore, the Living Wage calculation takes into account in-work benefit entitlement such as Tax Credits. With the Tories announcing huge cuts to Tax Credits the Living Wage Foundation have stated the official Living Wage rate will be at least £12 per hour. 

In addition the Tories have stated that the “National Living Wage” will not apply to under 25’s who will still receive the Minimum Wage. 

Councillor Cullinane, who has campaigned for the Living Wage, said, 

“Osborne’s “National Living Wage” is an act of political spin. The reality is it’s a Living Wage con.” 

“What has been announced is an increase in the National Minimum Wage which would be welcome if it wasn’t coupled with huge cuts to Tax Credits that means working families will be up to £1800 per year worse off.” 

“That the “National Living Wage” won’t apply to young people is disgraceful. I have always opposed the Minimum Wage having different levels based on age and believe we should have one fair wage for all ages.” 

“As someone who has campaigned for a Living Wage I would be the first person to welcome this announcement if it was a genuine attempt to deliver fair pay. However, from day one it is going to be well below the official Living Wage rate and with Tax Credit cuts taken into account it is likely that the Living Wage, which is independently calculated against living costs, will have to rise to over £12 per hour.” 

“Local people need a real Living Wage in order to have a decent standard of living. I will continue to campaign for that.”

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