In a major policy change, at its June meeting Oxfordshire Green Party accepted a proposal from Green Party County Council leader David Williams that Oxfordshire should have the same Living Wage level as London.
Councillor Williams explains:
“Exceptional housing costs in Oxfordshire have combined with years of energy and food price increases to make it very hard to get by. We now have seven food banks in the County, with people being referred to them by health care professionals and others in increasing numbers. The Government’s minimum wage is a pitiful £6.31 per hour, which is not enough for people to live on. The Living Wage in London, which has been adopted by many employers there, stands at £8.80 per hour. Elsewhere in the country including Oxfordshire, the recommended Living Wage is £7.65 per hour. Bear in mind that about 3 in every 10 workers are part-time, not full time.
“Given high rents and colossal house prices in Oxfordshire, we need to move towards having the same Living Wage in Oxfordshire as in London. If this is combined with an increase in social housing, which has lower rent levels than privately-rented homes, then we might begin reduce the pressure on our low paid workers. Oxfordshire Green Party urges all of our district councils in the County to support a London level for the Living Wage in their area, and to buy housing for social housing as the quickest, cheapest way to meet housing need.”