‘Living wage would help many low-wage households’ – Bradley

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
SDLP finance spokesperson Dominic Bradley has said the introduction of a living wage would boost employment here and improve the lives of thousands of low-paid workers. The Newry and Armagh MLA was speaking after the publication of a report by the Northern Ireland Centre for Voluntary Action (NICVA) on the introduction of a living wage. He said, “Many households across the North, including a high proportion of those in work, are currently experiencing poverty and the cost of living continues to rise. “More than 80 per cent of employees aged 18 to 21 earned less than the living wage. Recent research reveals our lowest earners have lost 38 per cent of their disposable net income and with £4bn due to be taken from welfare by 2015, 22 per cent of households live in poverty. “NICVA suggests that the introduction of living wage would see 173,000 low-paid employees receiving an average gross pay rise of £1,300 a year. “This issue must continue to be enshrined in any future Programme for Government and the Executive needs to encourage employers to use socially responsible terms of employment and ensure people working full-time are able to afford housing costs, essential utilities and food bills. Bradley added, “The SDLP has a proud tradition in backing the living wage and introduced the motion that made Belfast City Council the first living wage council in Ireland. We continue to support that ethos.”
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