The right-wing media has made much of the cost of welfare benefits but not much of the huge subsidy to poverty-pay employers who are the recipients of huge taxpayer subsidies through tax credits, which top up low pay. It has not yet fully reached public consciousness that the majority of people in poverty in this country are actually employed.
Green councillors support the living wage - in Lewisham, Norwich, Lancashire, Camden, Worcester, Stroud, Brighton & Hove, and here in Oxford, minority Green councillors successfully campaigned for a living wage to help tackle poverty.
- Increase the minimum wage so that it is a living wage. We propose a minimum wage target for everyone who is working in the UK of £10 per hour by 2020. In 2015 this would mean a minimum wage of £8.10 an hour generally (and £9.40 in London), saving £2.4 billion a year in tax credits and generating an additional £1.5 billion a year in income tax and National Insurance. This would be offset by £0.7 billion a year additional costs in the public sector.
- Revive the role of democratic trade unions, including the right to belong to a union and have the employer recognise it, and the right to take industrial action, including strikes and peaceful picketing.
- Phase in a 35-hour week. Apart from improving the quality of our lives, this would combat unemployment by sharing available work out more equitably.
- Provide a comprehensive nationwide system of good-quality pre-school early education and childcare, free at the point of delivery.
- End exploitative zero-hours contracts.
- End the exploitation of interns, and ensure no unpaid full-time internship lasts more than four weeks.
- Make equal pay for men and women a reality.
- Introduce a maximum pay ratio of 10:1 between the best paid and the worst paid in every organisation.
- End blacklisting. We will set up a full investigation into blacklisting in the construction industry and consider the creation of a new criminal offence.
- Give workers a greater say in the running of their companies, including employee-elected directors in medium and larger companies.
- Reduce Employment Tribunal fees so that tribunals are accessible to workers.
Raise the minumum wage to £10/hour by 2020.